s quite clearly that Raphael was apprenticed to the Perugian Pietro Perugino, and that this is where he learnt his trade, and his first documented work, and altarpiece for the church San Nicola da Tolentino, is in Citta de Castello, between Perugia and Urbino. 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 Peruginos 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 Forlí, 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,