Although he trained in the studio of the celebrated Neoclassical history painter Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825), Ingres defies easy classification. This intimate painting reflects Ingres's Romantic fascination with the lives of artists of the past whom he admired-in this case, Raphael. In this scene, Cardinal Bibbiena presents his niece as a bride for Raphael, a demonstration of the extraordinary esteem the cardinal felt for the handsome young artist. Ingres was careful to use historical sources in his imaginative depiction of this pivotal moment. Raphael's features are based on a portrait of a young man that was once thought to be a self-portrait (National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.); Bibbiena's likeness is based on a portrait by Raphael (Pitti Palace, Florence); and the cardinal's niece was inspired by Sebastiano del Piombo's image of a woman once identified as Raphael's mistress, called "La Fornarina" (also in the Pitti Palace).