Raphael, together with Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, was the greatest artist of the Renaissance period. He is best known for his Madonna paintings and his Madonnas are often regarded as the prettiest ever painted. His paintings are harmonious, well-balanced, deep and emotional. He epitomizes the high point of Renaissance art, Raphael was very influential and held up as the role model for all artists until Modernism. Everything in his paintings has a purpose, especially the way he uses contrast to heighten perception and feeling.
Key artwork: The Sistine Madonna, 1513