Raphael (1483 – 1520), one of the most prominent Italian Renaissance painters, created masterpieces that epitomized the High Renaissance ideals of harmony and beauty. From Urbino, Italy, Raphael was admitted to the workshop of the town’s leading painter at age 12 and quickly surpassed his instructor. Possessing a remarkable command of depth, perspective, light and shadow, Rafael imparted warmth and serenity to his magnificently lifelike figures. His most brilliant works include the stanzas inside the Vatican, and Madonnas which he portrayed with human emotions, as no artist had previously done. Pope Julius II had such high regard for the grace and perfection of Raphael’s work that at one point, he was inclined to make him Cardinal.