His mother Màgia died in 1491 when Raphael was eight, followed on August 1, 1494 by his father, who had already remarried. Raphael was thus orphaned at eleven; his formal guardian became his only paternal uncle Bartolomeo, a priest, who subsequently engaged in litigation with his stepmother. He probably continued to live with his stepmother when not staying as an apprentice with a master. He had already shown talent, according to Vasari, who says that Raphael had been "a great help to his father". A drawing from his teenage years shows his precocity. His father's workshop continued and, probably together with his stepmother, Raphael evidently played a part in managing it from a very early age. In Urbino, he came into contact with the works of , previously the court painter (d. 1475), and , who until 1498 was based in nearby .According to Vasari, his father placed him in the workshop of the Umbrian master as an apprentice "despite the tears of his mother". The evidence of an apprenticeship comes only from Vasari and another source, and has been disputed—eight was very early for an apprenticeship to begin. An alternative theory is that he received at least some training from , who acted as court painter in Urbino from 1495. Most modern historians agree that Raphael at least worked as an assistant to Perugino from around 1500; the influence of Perugino on Raphael's early work is very clear: "probably no other pupil of genius has ever absorbed so much of his master's teaching as Raphael did", according to . Vasari wrote that it was impossible to distinguish between their hands at this period, but many modern claim to do better and detect his hand in specific areas of works by Perugino or his workshop. Apart from stylistic closeness, their techniques are very similar as well, for example having paint applied thickly, using an oil varnish medium, in shadows and darker garments, but very thinly on flesh areas. An excess of resin in the varnish often causes of areas of paint in the works of both masters. The Perugino workshop was active in both and , perhaps maintaining two permanent branches. Raphael is described as a "master", that is to say fully trained, in December 1500.His first documented work was the for the church of Saint in Città di Castello, a town halfway between Perugia and Urbino. , who had worked for his father, was also named in the commission. It was commissioned in 1500 and finished in 1501; now only some cut sections and a preparatory drawing remain. In the following years he painted works for other churches there, including the (about 1503) and the (1504), and for Perugia, such as the . He very probably also visited Florence in this period. These are large works, some in , where Raphael confidently marshals his compositions in the somewhat static style of Perugino. He also painted many small and exquisite in these years, probably mostly for the connoisseurs in the Urbino court, like the and , and he began to paint and portraits. In 1502 he went to at the invitation of another pupil of , , "being a friend of Raphael and knowing him to be a draughtsman of the highest quality" to help with the , and very likely the designs, for a fresco series in the in . He was evidently already much in demand even at this early stage in his career.. Browse Places. Check out our new and improved places directory. Places allows you to see where your friends are and share your location in the real world.. Raphael was enormously productive, running an unusually large workshop and, despite his death at 37, leaving a large body of work. Many of his works are found in the Vatican Palace, where the frescoed Raphael Rooms were the central, and the largest, work of his career..