The paintings of Raphael demonstrate the results of his valuable research into the past and his Renaissance counterparts twinned with a poignant sense of deeply human poetry. Heavily influenced by his early life in Urbino and the loss of his parents while still a child, Raphael started his career as a teenager. Me moved to Perugia, where the influences of Umbria impacted on his work, and by 16 he was considered a 'Master'. It was the beginning of a career which, while short, would impact on every aspect of the fundamental artistic culture in the transition between the 15th and 16th centuries. An intellectual fascinated by antiquity, Raphael's work drew on an ever-broadening field of influences, often reflecting political turbulence and personal tragedy as much as the shifting trends in Renaissance art and architecture. The creative hotbed of Rome was the perfect backdrop for Raphael, leading to the creation of some of the greatest artworks of all time. In this fascinating programme we trace Raphael's life and career, examining in spectacular detail many of his greatest masterpieces and assessing the influences and importance of those major works - including the famous series of Madonnas. In addition to close-up footage examining the intricate and beautiful painting of Raphael, we consider his life and his untimely death aged just 37.