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About Artist:

Raphael Sassi (1976-2019) was born in Pennsylvania and raised in Maryland. He began his art studies in his early teens. He received a Maryland Artist’s Distinguished Scholar Finalist Award in 1995. And enrolled at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore graduating in 1999.

He was, in the words of Professor James Hennessey, “The most accomplished draughtsman that I encountered in my 37 years of teaching at the Maryland Institute.”

After some travel, Raphael moved to New York City where he attended graduate school on scholarship at the New York Academy of Art in Tribeca. Raphael completed his MFA cum laude in 2004, and was awarded the Walter Erlebacher Award for the study of artistic anatomy. He was also awarded one of the three distinguished NYAA year-long post-graduate residencies—the Academy’s highest honor and one of the fellowship positions for the year 2005.

Raphael exhibited numerous times in New York City, including two group shows in the Chelsea district and at the National Arts Club, where he was awarded the National Portrait Society Award for the renowned graphite work on paper, “Allen,” now in a private collection. He also exhibited at the New York Academy of Art, at the Salmagundi Club, four drawing exhibitions at the Medialia Gallery, and a solo exhibit in Soho. Raphael also exhibited at the Baltimore Museum of Art with the Maryland Artist’s Equity Foundation.

He was published in the Denver Westworld, Elle magazine, Fine Art Connoisseur, The New York Times, and Page Six of the New York Post. Raphael was interviewed for the Spectrum News NY1 Arts Report and for the New York Times Style section video short, and more recently in the new book dedicated to contemporary figuration, The Figure, published by Rizzoli, as well as the Huffington Arts blog.

Shortly after receiving a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship Grant in the Drawing/ Bookmaking category in 2007, he taught anatomical drawing at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and the School for Visual Arts in Manhattan in their undergraduate programs. In 2009, he was awarded the Acadia Foundation and the Richard Estes Artist Residency Grant. His work is part of numerous private collections, including Eric Fischl.

Raphael Sassi died on April 5, 2019, in Henderson Colorado. His life was taken by an unprovoked and senseless act of gun violence.

Raphael Sassi


  • 2002
  • Dimensions: 36" x 24"
  • Fine Art Category: paintings
  • Medium: Oil / Canvas
  • Origin: USA
  • Price: $2,800.00 USD


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