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Artists and authorship: the case of Raphael
Artists and authorship: the case of Raphael

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2 Raphael, prince of painters

Following the discussion of Renaissance self-fashioning, here we will explore in greater depth the creation of artistic authorship in the early modern era with a case study of the artist Raphael. Traditionally, Michelangelo has been viewed as the paradigmatic genius of his age, and there have been many art-historical studies of his creative personality and its invention by himself and by his contemporaries. Raphael’s persona, however, is often taken for granted, in part because his graceful and well-mannered personality is less appealing to modern sensibilities than the abrasive, fiercely independent Michelangelo. Raphael is an interesting case study because the cult around his persona, first established in the artist’s lifetime, continues to inform his reverent treatment in recent monographs and exhibitions.