The Easel

Commoner with the divine touch

Raphael was a terrifyingly brilliant teenager. In Florence fame came quickly and, moving on to Rome, a certain reverence. For centuries he was seen as the pinnacle of the High Renaissance, combining da Vinci’s emotion and Michelangelo’s buff bodies. Impressionism diminished his allure somewhat by showing that representation is not the only thing in art. Still, a huge show in Rome reminds us that Raphael was “a genius beyond all measure”.