"A brilliant and lyrical biography ... The masterful quality of Forcellino's account lies not only in the beauty of its language, translated impeccably from Italian into English, but in the seamlessness and self-assurance with which he himself works across northern Italy, its paintings, its politics."
"An excellent introduction to the workshop of the Renaissance artist, and to the careful and patient techniques employed in the making of timeless art works ... Forcellino has done a very creditable service in his re-examination of the life of an artist who, more than any other, embodied the spirit of the Italian Renaissance."
"Antonio Forcellino has now celebrated Raphael's life and career by writing this ebullient book, elegantly translated by Lucinda Byatt ... [Forcellino] is ingenious and fastidious in describing Raphael's works, and his book will give pleasure to those coming to them for the first time; it even highlights a few things connoisseurs may have missed."
"A detailed biography that explains Raphael's achievements during his short life, while also showing how his social skills and affable temperament helped him to advance his career ... This informative book is also a rich treasury of information about the artistic developments and techniques of the period."
Historical Novel Society
"Forcellino seeks to liberate his subject from later cultural and art-historical associations. Challenging post-Romantic conventions of the solitary genius, he presents Raphael as fully engaged with his society: a man whose eroticism and talent for friendship flowed naturally into his art ... Forcellino's Raphael is a lover, not a fighter."
The Art Newspaper
"Written in his usual lively style, Forcellino's new book combines fast-moving narrative, a vivid portrait of Raphael the man, and a perceptive analysis of his art."
Peter Burke, University of Cambridge
"The last century saw the development of the legend that depicts the life of the artist as one of torment and desperation: Raphael demolishes every trace of this romantic myth and demonstrates on the contrary that it is in fact complete happiness and the gratification of desires that can lead to the conquering of the highest peaks of creativity."
Corriere della Sera
"Beyond simply recounting the biographical journey, Antonio Forcellino also seamlessly incorporates analyses of Raphael's works in this lively study. Painter, architect, set designer: all facets of Raphael are discussed with the consummate art of the storyteller."
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