Other important early works of Raphael are dotted around Perugia, most notably his Crowning of the Virgin in the San Francesco chapel, and his The Marriage of the Virgin, which shows much maturity of style compared to his earlier works.
In the four years he spent in Perugino's workshop, Raphael learned all that his master could teach him, and the period passed without problems or challenges; in his early works, Raphael remained faithful to the Perugino School, which is understandable, as the stylistic characteristics he had acquired from his teacher, namely a clear organization of the composition and the avoidance of excessive detail, also provided useful means through which to express the new spirit of the High Renaissance (Toman, 1998).
In 1504, in his new home town of Siena, and then later in Florence, where he based himself from 1507, Raphael came in to contact with many artists, most notably Da Vinci and Michelangelo, through whose influence he came to develop a more grandiose, expressive, style. Here, he also learned new techniques, such as chiaroscuro and sfumato, and came under the influence of Da Vinci's bold figure placements and gestures. During this time, Raphael was also introduced to the works of Paolo Uccello, Luca Signorelli, Melozzo da Forl, as well as to the emerging Flemish artists Hieronymus Bosch and joos van Gent (Toman, 1998).
During this time, Raphael produced one of his most famous early works, The Marriage of the Virgin, the conception, structure and style of which corresponds closely to those of the work of the same name by Perugino, and it is assumed that Raphael was here executing a repeat commission passed on to him by his teacher, however, while the faces of the figures, such as that of the girl on the left, could have been painted by Perugino, Raphael can elsewhere be seen to introduce elements which reveal his interest in the achievements of the new age: for example, the domed building in the semicircular upper half of the picture may be derived from Bramante's contemporary ideal of architecture, as expressed in his round tempietto at S. Pietro in Montorio in Rome (Toman, 1998).
The scene depicted in Raphael's The Marriage of the Virgin is one of tranquillity: Mary graciously receives the ring from Joseph, who is depicted barefoot in accordance with the custom of oath-taking ceremonies at that time; in contrast to the calm figures of the main group, however, one young man in the foreground is shown in motion; angered at his failure to win Mary, he is breaking a dead stick over his knee (Toman, 1998). Joseph's stick, on the other hand, has blossomed afresh in accordance with the apocryphal legend, indicating that he has chosen Mary, and showing the tenderness with which Raphael considered, and executed, his subjects at this stage in his career (Toman, 1998).
In 1508, Raphael moved to Rome, where the Pope called him the 'prince of painters'. If Vasari is to be believed, the Pope acted upon the recommendation of Bramante, the architect of St. Peter's, who was also originally from the Urbino area, who recommended Raphael to the Pope, as an ideal artist for a suite of papal rooms that was to be decorated on