An Allegory (Vision of a Knight). c.1504, oil on poplar. National Gallery, London.

Online courses

Rethinking Raphael (1483-1520): his career, legacy and afterlife

  • Begins: Wednesday 23 February 2022
    Until: Wednesday 23 March 2022
  • Lecturer: Giulia Martina Weston

This course aims to look afresh at the complexity of Raphael’s rich career and legacy. Beginning in his native Urbino, our investigation will question Raphael’s early production, which is chiefly influenced by Pietro Perugino and his subsequent exposure to the canons set by Leonardo and Michelangelo in Florence. Raphael’s career flourishes in Rome, where, in 1508, Pope Julius II entrusts him with the redecoration of the papal apartments, an enterprise which earns him a reputation as ‘divine painter’.

Raphael also becomes involved in the rediscovery and conservation of Rome’s classical antiquities. Tracking the diverse creative output of Raphael and his workshop, our discussion will encompass drawings, preparatory cartoons, paintings, tapestries, and maiolica, all partaking in the development of a quintessential Roman Renaissance style.

Following his untimely death in 1520, Raphael’s pupils brought the fruits of his teachings across the Italian peninsula, and their individual styles played a crucial role in shaping regional schools for centuries to come. We conclude by assessing Raphael’s enduring legacy, including a survey into the scholarly initiatives that marked the 500th anniversary of the artist’s death.

This course closely precedes the exhibition Raphael at the National Gallery.


23 February
Lecture 1   Setting the stage: Raphael between Urbino and Florence
Lecture 2   Becoming Divine: the Vatican Stanze

2 March
Lecture 3   Raphael and the Antique: architecture and archaeology
Lecture 4   Raphael Portraitist: networks of patronage and friendship

9 March 
Lecture 5   The mind at work: from drawings to cartoons
Lecture 6   Raphael and the decorative arts: a journey across media

16 March
Lecture 7   Raphael and his workshop: forging the Roman Renaissance
Lecture 8   Raphael’s heirs: an artistic diaspora

23 March
Lecture 9   Raphael’s afterlife in seventeenth-century Italy: from Annibale Carracci to Sassoferrato
Lecture 10 Raphael today: looking back, looking forward


Giulia Martina Weston holds a PhD from The Courtauld Institute of Art, where she has been Associate Lecturer since 2016. She is Consultant Lecturer at Sotheby’s Institute of Art and an independent art consultant. Her publications focus on various aspects of Renaissance and Early Modern art and society, and on issues of connoisseurship and authenticity.

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