Updated on May 27th 2021
Love life of Raphael
Down through the centuries pundits have debated and argued over the death of the “divine Raphael” who along with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, formed part of what has been called the “trident of the Renaissance”.
- Vasari recounts in his book The Lives of the Artists that Raphael, who died aged 37 at the peak of his powers, was brought down by excessive passion. A condition that was well known to the horny Raphael. Clearly the great artist was destabilised by too much action in bed.
Vasari goes into detail about Raphael's emotional life and roving eye. The young, gifted, handsome and courtly artist, he claims, was so enamored of his mistress that she had to be allowed to live with him in the Villa Farnesina in Rome (as it's now called) while he was painting its frescoes. No sex, no frescoes; so, who had the upper hand?
Venus on the Chariot Pulled by Doves (1517-18) Fresco Villa Farnesina, Rome
The woman that captured the attention of Raphael was Margarita Luti, also known as La Fornarina, which means “the baker’s daughter”. According to the legend, she was the mistress and model of Raphael. According to Vasari, the leading gossip of Renaissance artists, Raphael was a “very amorous man and affectionate towards the ladies”. When commissioned by Agostino Chigi to decorate the Villa Farnesina, he was unable to dedicate himself properly to his work due to his infatuation – until she was allowed to come to live at his side.
Others would have it that Raphael died of the “French Disease” which of course has nothing to do with chocking on a baguette.
Like her alter-ego Webecca Weed, Karen Redlich is obsessed with history; Ancient British History especially. For the past ten years Karen has travelled to as many Neolithic sites as she can, from Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery in Co. Sligo, Ireland to Midhowe Cairn (“The Great Ship of Death”) in the Orkney Islands. Karen is a trained illustrator and regularly exhibits paintings based upon these destinations and the folklore that surrounds them. She is looking forward to sharing her love of history, travel and humour with you.