Madonna del cardellino
The Madonna del cardellino or Madonna of the Goldfinch is a painting by the Italian renaissance artist Raphael, from c. 1505-1506. A 10-year restoration process was completed in 2008, after which the painting was returned to its home at the Uffizi in Florence. During the restoration, an antique copy replaced the painting in the gallery. Raphael is considered to be a “master” of the High Renaissance, a title he shares with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, he was died in 1520, living a mere thirty-seven years. Despite his short lifespan, he was influential throughout his time on earth, he produced a vast quantity of work in a variety of media. He was active in architecture, printmaking and drawing. During the first half of his career, he spent years traveling across Northern Italy and was influenced by the Florentine styles he saw there, causing this stage to be called his Florentine Period. After which, in 1508, he moved to Rome. Many of his commissions came from the Vatican, including the Apostolic Palace, which brought about one of his most famous works, School of Athens.
Due to his relationship with the church, he and Michelangelo were fierce rivals throughout both of their careers, competed for the same commissions. During his Florentine period, this work, The Madonna Del Cardellino, was painted along with several other well-known Madonnas: The Madonna of the Meadow and La Belle Jardinière. All three share several characteristics: Madonna is clothed in red and blue, the same three subjects are painted, the pyramidal composition, the natural background, the connection to the church through the representation of books, crosses, or, the goldfinch. In this painting, as in most of the Madonnas of his Florentine period, Raphael arranged the three figures - Mary and the young John the Baptist - to fit into a geometrical design. Though the positions of the three bodies are natural, together they form an regular triangle; the Madonna is shown beautiful, as with Raphael's various other Madonnas. She is clothed in red and blue typical, for red signifies the passion of Christ and blue was used to signify the church.
Christ and John are still young, only babies. John holds a goldfinch in his hand, Christ is reaching out to touch it; the background is one typical of Raphael. The natural setting is diverse and yet all calmly frames the central subject taking place; the Madonna was a wedding gift from Raphael to his friend Lorenzo Nasi. On November 17, 1548 Nasi's house was destroyed by an earthquake and the painting broke into seventeen pieces, it was taken to be salvaged, was hastily put back together, though the seams were quite visible. In 2002, George Bonsanti of the Precious Stones organization gave the task of restoration to Patrizia Riitano. During the six-year process that followed, her team worked to remove the years of grime that had degraded the painting's color, to fix the damage done by the earthquake long ago. Before beginning the project, they studied the work as as possible, utilizing resources such as X-rays, CAT scans, reflective infra-red photography, lasers. Riitano studied the past quick fix layers, applied and removed them until the original by Raphael shone through.
The restoration was completed in 2008, the painting was put on display in Uffizi. In Madonna Del Cardellino, the goldfinch represents Christ’s crucifixion; the reason for its association comes from the legend that its red spot was born at the time of the crucifixion. It flew down over the head of Christ and was taking a thorn from His crown, when it was splashed with the drop of His blood; the book in Mary's hand reads The Throne of Wisdom. This term is applied to images in which Mary is seated upon a throne, with Jesus on her lap, but in this case, the inscription implies the rock on which Mary sits is her natural throne. In some versions of Vasari another similar painting is described as the Vallombrosa version but it has never been identified. Beck, James H.. "The Madonna of the Goldfinch". Raphael. New York: Harry N. Abrams. Pp. 106–107. ISBN 0-8109-0432-2. LCCN 73-12198. Page art artonline.it
Young Woman with Unicorn
Portrait of Young Woman with Unicorn is a painting by Raphael, which art historians date to 1505 or 1506. It is in the Galleria Borghese in Rome; the painting was oil on panel, was transferred to canvas during conservation work in 1934. It was in the course of this work that overpainting was removed, revealing the unicorn, removing the wheel and palm frond, added by an unknown painter during the mid-17th century; the composition of the picture--placing the figure in a loggia opening out onto a landscape, the three-quarter length format-- was inspired by the Mona Lisa, painted by Leonardo between 1503 and 1506. Christof Thoenes observes: "However unabashedly Raphael adopts the pose, compositional framework and spatial organization of the Leonardo portrait...the cool watchfulness in the young woman's gaze is different" from the "enigmatic ambiguity" of Mona Lisa. The work was of uncertain attribution until recent times. In the 1760 inventory of the Gallery, the subject of the painting was identified as Saint Catherine of Alexandria and attributed to Perugino.
A restoration of the painting in 1934–36 confirmed art historian Roberto Longhi's attribution of the work to Raphael, the removal of heavy repainting revealed the unicorn, traditionally a symbol of chastity in medieval romance, in place of a Saint Catherine wheel. Restoration work on the painting in 1959 revealed through radiography the image of a small dog, a symbol of conjugal fidelity, under the unicorn; this alteration is believed to have been made by Raphael. Giulia Farnese Barchiesi and Marina # Minozzi, The Galleria Borghese: The Masterpieces, Galleria Borghese, Rome, n.d. Thoenes, Raphael 1483-1520: The Invention of the High Renaissance, Koln: Taschen, 2012
Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints (Raphael)
The Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints known as the Colonna Altarpiece, is a painting by the Italian High Renaissance artist Raphael, c. 1504. It is housed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York City, it is the only altarpiece by Raphael in the United States. The collection of Metropolitan Museum of Art contains a painting of the Agony in the Garden from the predella of the altarpiece. Other panels from the predella can be found in the collections of the National Gallery, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, in Boston, Dulwich Picture Gallery, in London. A preparatory drawing by Raphael for the composition of the agony in the garden is in the collection of the Morgan Library New York; the pieces of the predella were separated from the altarpiece and sold to Queen Christina of Sweden, from where they reached the Orleans Collection, while the main panels themselves were sold to the aristocratic Colonna family in Rome, from whom the altarpiece takes its name. The Altarpiece was the last Raphael altar in private hands when J.
P. Morgan purchased it in the early 20th century for a record price. SourcesLinda Wolk-Simon, Raphael at the Metropolitan: The Colonna Altarpiece, Exh. cat. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York 2006
St. Michael (Raphael)
St. Michael is an oil painting by Italian artist Raphael. Called the Little St. Michael to distinguish it from a larger treatment of the same theme, St. Michael Vanquishing Satan, it is housed in the Louvre in Paris; the work depicts the Archangel Michael in combat with the demons of Hell, while the damned suffer behind him. Along with St. George, it represents the first of Raphael's works on martial subjects. An early work of the artist, the painting was executed for Guidobaldo da Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino, in 1504 or 1505 on the back of a draughtboard commissioned to express appreciation to Louis XII of France for conferring the Order of Saint Michael on Francesco Maria I della Rovere, Guidobaldo's nephew and heir. Whatever the impetus for its creation, by 1548 it hung in the collection at the Palace of Fontainebleau. In 2006's Early Work of Raphael, Julia Cartwright suggests it may betray the influence of Timoteo Viti in the gold tinting to the green wings of Michael, while the sinners in the background suggest that Raphael may have consulted an illustrated volume of Dante's Inferno.
The punishments depicted reflect Dante's treatment of thieves. A little more than a decade after completing the little St. Michael, Raphael was commissioned to revisit the theme, producing St. Michael Vanquishing Satan for Pope Leo X in 1518. Media related to Saint Michael with the Dragon by Raffaello Sanzio at Wikimedia Commons
Madonna and Child with the Book
The Madonna and Child is a painting finished c. 1503 by the Italian High Renaissance painter Raphael. It is housed in the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, California
Portrait of a Man (Raphael)
The Portrait of a Man is an early work by the Italian Renaissance painter Raphael. It has been attributed to Hans Holbein and Perugino
The Alba Madonna is a painting by the Italian High Renaissance artist Raphael, depicting Mary and John the Baptist, in a typical Italian countryside. John the Baptist is holding up a cross to Jesus. All three figures are staring at the cross; the three figures are grouped to the left in the round design, but the outstretched arm of the Madonna and the billowing material of her cloak balance the image. This Madonna was commissioned by Paolo Giovio who planned to send it to the church of the Olivetani in Nocera dei Pagani. In the 18th century, the painting belonged to the Spanish House of Alba. In 1836 it was acquired by Nicholas I of Russia, who made it one of the highlights of the Imperial Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg. A century the Soviet Government clandestinely sold it to Andrew W. Mellon, who donated his collection to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D. C. where it may be seen today. During its time in the Hermitage, the painting would be transferred from a circular panel to a square canvas during the early nineteenth century.
Through analysis of the painting, it was determined that the original panel was splitting down the center and on the right side. The canvas pattern is visible in the painting and the landscape on the far right was damaged in the transfer process. During World War II a group of over 100 pieces of art belonging to the National Gallery of Art, including this one, were transported by train to Asheville, NC where they would be stored in the unfinished music room of the Biltmore House. Done with the utmost secrecy, heavy steel doors were installed and bars were put in the windows of the barren music room. In 1944 after it became clear that the war would soon be over the paintings were moved back to the National Gallery of Art. Art historian Andrew Graham-Dixon says of the painting:The Alba Madonna is a breathtakingly beautiful work of art, all the more impressive since recent restoration work brought back the original, delicate pastel colours used by the artist, revealed the subtle depth and brilliancy of the landscape background.
The buildings on the hilltop at the right-hand edge of the composition are caught by a raking light and have been misted by varying degrees of haze to create the illusion of relative distance from the eye – a technique known as aerial perspective. The far mountains are hazed by distance to a rich azure, while the sky above varies in colour from Wedgewood blue, at its apex, to a cool milky-white on the horizon; this range of colours is repeated in the folds and shadows of the Madonna’s blue robes, which at once echo and animate the circular shape of the composition. A monumental, comforting figure, clothed in robes that look as if woven from a piece of fallen sky, she seems like a world unto herself. Although she sits on the ground, which links her iconographically to the tradition of the Madonna of Humility, her statuesque grandeur calls to mind earlier Renaissance images of the Madonna della Misericordia – images of the Virgin as Queen of Heaven and protectress of all humanity; the faintest trace of archaism survives, in Raphael's painting technique, in the imperceptibly delicate gold halo inscribed into the air above her head.
Soviet sale of Hermitage paintings List of original Hermitage paintings in the National Gallery of Art Provenance of the painting smARThistory: Raphael's Alba Madonna