Although the High Renaissance lasted for only a short period of time, it saw the production of some of the most exceptional artistic creations in the Italian states. Rome, which was the capital of the Papal States, and Florence were the two primary locations where High Renaissance artists flourished. Most art historians believe that the High Renaissance began around 1495 and ended around 1520 with the death of the great painter Raphael. While others believe that the Sack of Rome by the army of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, ended it circa 1527. The masters who seem to define the High Renaissance include Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Bramante.
Painting during the High Renaissance is considered today to be the absolute zenith of western art. This period of time revealed many