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Raffaello Sanzi Known as Raffaello: A Child Prodigy, an Artist

Hosted by the Consul of the London Gallery Visits Group
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Took place 1 month ago
Sat 05 Dec 15:00 - 16:00

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A child prodigy, the artist, whose full name was Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino, was among the most celebrated artists in Europe at the time of his death. Today, he’s considered one of the three most influential creators of the era alongside Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci.

Raphael’s reputation for having a wild sex life has long fed myths that the Renaissance artist died of syphilis in Protected content age 37. But Protected content after his death, medical researchers have finally put that tall tale to rest.

According to an article that appeared this week in Internal and Emergency Medicine, a journal published by the Italian Society of Internal Medicine, the painter likely died from a pulmonary disease. The researchers at the University of Milano-Bicocca who authored the report say the illness was wrongly identified by physicians, who treated the fever-ridden Raphael by bloodletting with incisions or leeches—a process that likely sped up his death rather than aiding in his recovery.

“We are sure that bloodletting contributed to Raphael’s death,” Michele Augusto Riva, one of the study’s authors, told the Guardian. “Physicians of that period were used to practicing bloodletting for the treatment of different diseases, but it would not generally be used for diseases of the lungs. In the case of Raphael, he did not explain the origin of the disease or his symptoms and so the physician incorrectly used bloodletting.”