The Father's legacy
Raphael's father Giovanni Santi was a painter, poet and courtier at the Court of Urbino who gave Raphael the best possible start in life. From a very early age Santi began to teach Raphael to draw and paint, 'seeing that he was much inclined to that art and of great intelligence'. While he was still a child, Raphael assisted his father in commissions for the state of Urbino. By the age of 17 he was already a fully qualified 'master' of the painter's guild.
Santi was an excellent role model who taught Raphael the value of studying and absorbing the work of other artists. The cultured courtly circles he was surrounded by, provided Raphael with the invaluable connections and manners which would help him throughout his career.
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