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Raphael's Use of Drawing as Study for Final Composition

Raphael's drawings aided in the creation of final compositions for artwork of more permanent media. Some of the benefits of drawing included, but are not limited to, content, placement, a study of balance, perspective, etc.

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Problem: How do the elements of Raphael's drawings come together to form the final composition?

Answer: Italian Renaissance artists used drawing as a tool - not just as an end result or product. These sketches (or "studies") were research (learning about the human body and how it moves, for example), exercise (honing their skill), and planning (like blueprints for the final product which were more easily modified or corrected.) Drawing made it possible to work out problems of design such as perspective, proportion, and balance before committing to the final composition. This was particularly important if the composition was intended for an architectural space (which would mean that the final product had to fit into a highly specific space in terms of size and shape.) Artists would create "cartoons" to be used as templates for important elements of the composition.
If drawings were done as "studies" for another project, the final work might in essence be a kind of visual puzzle made up of pieces of many other sketches. Drawings were made as ...

Solution Summary

This solution explains the reasoning behind the use of drawing as a preparatory exercise for Raphael while creating the layout for a final composition. It includes descriptions of why and how he might have used drawings while planning his larger and more permanent works (such as large scale frescoes). The solution provides an example of one of his most well-known works as well as some links and book titles that may be referenced if further information is needed.

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