SANTI, Giovanni
(b. ca. 1435, Colbordolo, d. 1494, Urbino)


Italian painter and decorator, father of Raphael. He was a petty merchant for a time, then studied under Piero della Francesca, and seems to have been an assistant and friend of Melozzo da Forli. He is thought to have been influenced by Melozzo; he also expressed admiration for Mantegna. He was court painter to the Duke of Urbino and painted several altarpieces.

He was also a poet at the Court of Urbino. His poetry includes an epic in honour of one of his patrons, Federico III da Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino, followed a discourse on painting.

Santi's house in Urbino is now a museum - the Casa di Raffaello. It contains a small fresco of the Virgin and Child that some authorities consider to be Santi's portrayal of Raphael and his mother, and others claim as a very early work by Raphael himself.