Raphael was not a printmaker, but he worked with one of the first printmakers Marcantonio Raimondi. The artist produced the drawings and they were then engraved and printed by Raimondi. Together they produced many of the best-known prints of the Italian Renaissance. The artist was one of the first to make prints of his work and he played an important role in the rise of reproductive art or prints. He had prints made of some of his most important works such as the Massacre of the Innocents. Raphael was an innovator and perhaps the first great artist to recognize the importance of prints in the Renaissance.
==Raphael and the conceptualization of modern art==In the Middle Ages, painters and other artists were only regarded as craft persons or manual workers
and had little or no social status. The Renaissance changed all this and led to the modern conception of the artists , that is someone who is gifted and can produce beautiful works that offer profound insights <ref> Burckhardt, J The culture of the civilization of the Italian Renaissance (Penguin, London, 1995), p 34</ref> . During the Renaissance painters and others attained a new status and rank. Raphael was one of the first to be regarded in this light. Unlike his predecessors, he was famous and was a well-known personality in Rome. He was indeed something of a celebrity , in his time. Moreover, he was a close friend of the great and the powerful. At one time it was even proposed that he be appointed a Cardinal and became a confidant of Pope Julius II. Raphael was a charismatic and attractive character and he did much to redefine the role of the artist in Renaissance society<ref>Vasari. p. 301</ref> . He was to demonstrate that the visual arts, such as painting were superior to the crafts. Raphael in works such as the School of Athens showed that the painting could deal with serious subjects and provide a unique experience. While in his religious paintings he demonstrated that art could be uplifting. The Urbino born artist helped to change the way that people experienced art. Raphael played a very important role in the conception of what is the nature of art and its value to society.
Raphael was a true Renaissance man and
remains one of the most popular of all the artists , from that period. He is synonymous with grace and elegance. Today, he is not as highly regarded and other artists such as Titian are even regarded as his superior. Yet Raphael was a great painter and he produced many masterpieces. His mastery of technique and his emotional realism was revolutionary and changed the history of Renaissance art. He was possibly the most decisive influence on the painting of the Later Renaissance, while he changed the nature of religious art and portraiture. Raphael was also an innovator and he was a pioneer in prints, a fine architect and was one of the first who sought to preserve the built heritage of Rome. His life and work were crucial in the emergence of the modern idea of the artist and the nature of art.