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The divine painter

Michael Collins’ new biography, Raphael’s World (Messenger Publications) », is published as the 500th anniversary of the death of Raphael Sanzio of Urbino (1483-1520) occurs in 2020 and portrays the era in which the ‘divine painter’ lived. The author was interviewed about his book on Newstalk » as part of the best in Irish and international history publications for September 2020.

A contemporary of Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci, Raphael was one of the greatest artists of the Italian Renaissance who was sought out by popes, kings and aristocrats to decorate their residences. The book is both a history of the painter’s patrons and some very good illustrations of his paintings.

It follows the young Raphael from Perugia where he studied in the studio of Perugino, to Florence where he saw Michelangelo and Da Vinci at work, to Rome where he painted for popes and cardinals, as well as Agostino Chigi, one of the wealthiest patrons of the day.

Collins brings the reader into the ducal court of Urbino, explores the complex and dramatically changing landscape in which the artist flourished and introduces the reader to the fascinating panoply of his patrons.

Born thirty years after the invention of the printing press and nine years before the discovery of the New World, Raphael harnessed the new techniques of printing and the riches which flowed from the Americas into Europe in the early 16th century.

The illustrations include Raphael’s first self-portrait, a cartoon for the School of Athens, painted walls in the Stanza della Segnatura, a portrait of Pope Julius II, and many more.

Michael Collins is a priest of the Archdiocese of Dublin. He is a graduate of University College Dublin and has written and edited award-winning books, which have been translated into twelve different languages.