6 April 2020 will mark 500 years since the death of celebrated Italian Renaissance painter Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino – better known as Raphael – at the tender age of 37.
Despite his early demise (due to “exhaustion brought on by unceasing romantic interests,” according to Italian painter and writer Giorgio Vasari!), Raphael left behind an incredible legacy. To this day his paintings are celebrated for their joyous ease of composition and clarity of form.
Raphael hailed from Urbino in Italy’s stunning Le Marche region, which lies nestled between the Sibillini mountains and the coast. The walled city of Urbino will this year lead the celebrations of Raphael’s talent in Le Marche, while major celebrations will also take place in Rome and elsewhere around the world (including in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC and the National Gallery in London).
Despite living in Rome for the last decade of his life and moving in the highest of circles of society (his major works were for the popes, including a stunning series of frescoed rooms in the Vatican), Raphael maintained his fondness for Le Marche visiting often. Given the serenity and charm of the region, it’s easy to see why.