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The Italian Renaissance is regarded as one of the high points of Western civilization and it has left an enduring artistic legacy. Traditionally, the three great master painters of the era are regarded as Michelangelo, Leonardo, and Raphael. Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (1483-1517), better known as Raphael, is often cited as one of the greatest painters of all time and one of the most influential. He was not only a great artist who produced great works but made a real contribution to the Renaissance, in several areas. Raphael’s work was revolutionary, and he changed the history of art in this epoch both in Italy and beyond. Indeed, he inspired new artistic schools. He was a Renaissance man and a pioneer in printmaking, indeed he was one of the first artists to use this medium. Moreover, he was crucial in the modern conception of the artist.
[[File: Raphael 1.jpg|200px|thumb|left|Self-portrait by Raphael]]