Galatea and Ezekiel.
Galatea was painted for the merchant and banker Agosto Chigi who was the wealthiest man in Rome at the time that the painting was commissioned. The work was placed in Chigi's villa on the banks of the Tiber (now named the Villa Farnesina) and was intended to highlight Chigi's position as a major patron of the arts.
The prophet Ezekiel and his vision is described in the book of Ezekiel. A vision of God the Father appeared to the prophet carried aloft by the symbols of the evangelists, an eagle is accompanied by a lion, an ox, and an angel. In Raphael’s magnificent painting the vision of God fills the main part of the composition riding on a cloud and bathed in a golden celestial light. The arms of God are raised in blessing completing the drama of the composition. Only in a sketch at the bottom of the painting does an earthly landscape appear on which the tiny figure of the prophet stands in awe of the vision before him.
In 1514 the artist was named architect of St Peter's and for a while was the most important architect in Rome. He designed several buildings including the Chigi Chapel in the Church of Santa Maria del Popolo. Unfortunately, his work on St Peter's was demolished when Michelangelo's design became accepted.
Raphael Sanzio died on April 6th, 1520, at the age of 37 and, such was his fame, that the leading scholar of the age, Cardinal Bembo, wrote the epitaph for his tomb. This is Raphael's tomb, while he lived, he made Mother Nature fear to be vanquished by him and, as he died, to die too.