Dec 232007
Raphael: The Sistine Madonna

This painting (Gem√§ldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden) combines secular and earthly clerical elements with the divine in an ostensible theatrical interplay. The lid of the coffin of Pope Julius II forms the stage, while the tableau curtains are drawn apart to reveal the divine action. This hierarchical pastiche communicates the heavens to the devout in a […]

Dec 172007
Raphael: The Esterhazy Madonna

This painting (hanging in the Budapest Museum of Fine Arts) manifests a strong classical bent. The odd coloring of the babies, the musical instrument in the hands of one of them and the more obvious ancient architectural elements in the back, they all contribute to the thematic epochal dating. The flat hue of the children’s […]

Dec 142007
Raphael: Madonna with a Fish

The Web Gallery of Art mentions that this piece, hanging in Muceo Nacional del Prado, is believed to had been painted by Raphael’s assistants. Though I am not in the position to contest this website or the specialists they cite, I would say that Madonna’s head and face seem very much Raphael, exhibiting the artists […]

Dec 132007
Raphael: Madonna of the Meadow

Contrary to the previous Madonna we discussed, this one is poised against a vast landscape background, which supposedly should have undermined and diminished the intimacy of the scene in the foreground. But it is not so. Perhaps the opposite: the rather desolate meadows only emphasize the isolated coziness of the unfolding interaction between the three […]

Dec 112007
Raphael: Madonna del Granduca

I wonder if Raphael’s Madonnas may bring about a therapeutic effect. I am not talking about religious sympathy that some will undoubtedly experience; it’s the pure psychological influence of calm and nervous relaxation that comes to mind. As mentioned in this Wikipedia article, art is known to provoke extremely powerful emotional responses. Could it be […]