Today 6 April, is the most commonly ascribed birth date of  Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino, more usually known by his first name alone Raphael or, in Italian, Raffaello. Born in 1483, he was a painter and architect, celebrated for the perfection and grace of his paintings and drawings. He is often spoken of in the same breath as Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, and together they form the trinity of great masters of the Renaissance period.

Despite his early death at thirty-seven, Raphael was enormously productive and a large body of his work remains, especially in the Vatican.  It’s hard pick the most famous of his works, but many claim it is his  masterpiece, The School of Athens, one of the four main frescoes on the walls of the Stanze di Raffaello, in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican.

The four frescoes epitomise Philosophy, Poetry, Theology, and Law; with The School of Athens representing Philosophy. Some say every great Greek philosopher can be found among the 21 in the painting. Yet, apart from Plato and Aristotle, who are placed at the centre, few can be identified with certainty. The School of Athens is considered “the perfect embodiment of the classical spirit of the High Renaissance”. Quite a wrap.

So for my wrap, I have chosen a whimsical Raphaelite inspired print because I have always wanted to use the adjective Raphaelite. Not technically his cherubs… but it does create a lovely feel to a special gift. The golden tassel is a nod to the ornate embellishments of the Renaissance.

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