Raffaello Sanzio, better known as Raphael, was born in Urbino in 1483. His birthplace remains a fascinating place to visit, and houses an important study centre, though
little of the original contents remain.
Raphael's father, Giovanni Santi was an important painter of the time. Many of his paintings and frescoes can be seen in the Palazza Ducale in Urbino, as well in the
surrounding towns and cities. Of particular interest is the fresco of Madonna and Child in the church of San Domenico, Cagli, where the angel standing to the right of the throne is said to be a
portrait of the young Raphael, then aged about eight.
After his father's death in 1494, Raphael studied with another Urbino painter, Timoteo Viti, before leaving the Marche to become Perugino's pupil. This marked
the end of Raphael's connection with Urbino. His career and fame was built in Rome, where he lived until his death in 1520 at the age of 37.
There are few works by Raphael in the Marche. There is an early fresco (probably?) by him in his birthplace in Urbino. Meanwhile Urbino's Ducal Palace houses his
famous portrait of a lady, known as La Muta (The Silent Woman).