Of the three great Italian High Renaissance masters, Raphael is now the most problematic. Leonardo and Michelangelo continue to fascinate, even though some members of the modern audience - myself among them - find some of Leonardo's output faintly creepy. Who really feels comfortable with his androgynous St. John the Baptist in the Louvre?
Raphael is a different matter. In his own lifetime, he was perhaps the most admired of the three, successful with every type of patron and every type of audience. Where his rivals delayed, Raphael delivered, unflappable and omnicompetent.