RAFFAELLO Sanzio
(b. 1483, Urbino, d. 1520, Roma)

The Voyage of Galatea (detail)

1511
Fresco
Villa Farnesina, Rome

The painting combines the vitality of pagan narrative with his unusual compositional harmony. Galatea, the sea-nymph, rushes forward on a dolphin-drawn chariot. Her head is turned to one side and her glance is directed over her shoulder toward the amorini or cupids who fly above her, bows drawn. A crowd of sea-nymphs and Tritons - fantastic creatures, half man and half fish - surround her. The powerful nudes possess the energy of Michelangelo, but the soft modelling of the winged cupids is peculiar to Raphael.