Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Italian Renaissance (pt. 21)

Raphael Sanzio was another man without whom the Renaissance would not have been complete.  Raphael made several frescos of the Virgin Mary with Child.  His Alba Madonna reflects the typical aura of these images.
We see, from left to right, John the Baptist, Jesus Christ, and the Virgin Mary.  All three characters look at the cross.  Raphael's paintings of Madonna and Child are almost all poignant reflections on the care of a mother for her infant boy when the looming cross foreshadows Christ's death.  The same three characters are in this earlier oil painting, the Madonna del prato.
The magnificent Small Cowper Madonna, painted around the same time as the one above, features Mary wearing similar attire (a red dress and blue robe—red is seen on Mary often, as a color of both love and a foreshadowing the bloodshed to occur at the cross).  This painting shows Mary staring ahead blankly and dolefully, lost in thought.  The baby Jesus, too, looks ahead, but His gaze is downward (perhaps foreshadowing that He will be buried in the earth).
An excellent painting, no?  It has an air of sadness to it, doesn't it?  I like this one and even had the privilege of seeing it in person once.


  1. I would like to buy a very good quality print of the Raphael's Madonna with baby Jesus and Saint John the Baptist. What can I do to buy this? What is the price?

    1. Unfortunately I don't sell printouts or posters. I'm pretty sure you'll be able to find them on the web, though. Good luck!