Raphael was born in the Italian city of Urbino in 1483. His father was the court painter for the Duke of this city, which had an influence on him, as well as the city itself. Urbino as this time was a center for culture encouraging the arts.
When Raphael was eleven years old, his father died. He then took the immense task of running his father's abnormally large workshop. He was quite talented from a young age and surpassed his father quite quickly. As a teenager, he was commissioned to paint for the Curch of San Nicola in Castello, which was a neighboring town.
In the year 1500, the highly acclaimed painter Pietro Vannunci, offered raphael an apprenticeship in Perugia. During this time, Perugia was creating frescoes for the Collegio Del Cambi, which had quit an influence on Raphael. Raphael was an apprentice for four years, gaining experience and knowledge.
In 1504, raphael had was done with his apprenticeship and had moved to Florence, Italy. He studied the works of Leonardo da vinci and Michelangelo and admired their work. There he created a series of "Madonnas" which played on the elements of Leonardo and Michelangelo, but also had his personal style.
Raphael then moved again, this time to Rome where he painted in the Vatican.