Main | Art magazine | Beneficence and depravity in a painting by Raphael Santi and his stunning Madonnas that not everyone knows about.
Beneficence and depravity in a painting by Raphael Santi and his stunning Madonnas that not everyone knows about.

Beneficence and depravity in a painting by Raphael Santi and his stunning Madonnas that not everyone knows about.

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Raphael Santi (1483-1520) was recognized as an outstanding artist during his lifetime, and unlike the unsociable Michelangelo, he was loved by everyone, and as soon as he stepped out into the street, he was immediately surrounded by a crowd of admirers. But Raphael on the pesky attention is not angry, he was a soft and kind-hearted man, and his beautiful human qualities are reflected in the paintings. Raphael to write angels and madonnas was much more pleasant than fallen women, but even they are not too different from the virtuous, as in the painting "The Dream of a Knight.

A knight's dream. 1504 г

Guess where here is beneficence and where is viciousness - we are waiting for your opinions in the comments.

Therefore, it is not surprising that Raphael so skillfully portrayed the Madonna, who personifies everything light and good, bringing light and kindness to the world. We will talk about some of the artist's artwork on this topic in this article.

Madonna Conestabile. 1502-1504.

Madonna Conestabile (1502-1504) is an early painting by Raphael Santi, which he painted while studying under the artist Perugino. He had not yet mastered the technique of sfumato, so the painting seems simple, there is no incredible sense of volume and naturalness of the image, the images are standard, without much invention, but the talent is felt already now. For example, here is the artwork of his teacher Perugino.

Pietro Perugino. Madonna and Child.

Everything seems to be beautiful there, but it lacks naturalness - the pose is too contrived, and the head is tilted too mannerly - this is how they pose, not how they sit in ordinary life. Rafael did not like all this, he was always in favor of naturalness and beauty, and as time showed, this was the right approach.

Madonna of Granduca. 1505-1506.

After only two years, Raphael painted the Madonna Granduca. Then he left provincial Perugia and moved to Florence, where he saw Leonardo da Vinci's paintings. And adopted the technique of sfumato, his paintings got rid of overly sharp lines, light shade became more realistic and it seems that they exude a kind of radiance. The Madonna herself modestly drowns her gaze and smiles slightly, and according to Raphael's contemporaries, she resembles his virtuous sister, so personal qualities of the artist reflected in the picture. It is already a masterpiece, and Raphael still has a long way to go.

Madonna of Alba. 1511 г.

In 1511, Raphael painted the Madonna of Alba. Then, at the command of Pope Julius II, he moved to Rome and began painting the palace in the Vatican. At the same time over the paintings of the Sistine Chapel worked and the great Michelangelo, but only the artists almost did not communicate with each other, although there was no fault of Raphael. Just Michelangelo in general was a very closed and gloomy man, fully immersed in his work, and Raphael perceived as a direct competitor, so when he had to urgently leave Rome, he locked the Chapel and strictly forbade Raphael to look at his frescoes.

Left: Raphael. Fragment of the fresco "Fire in Borgo". Right: Michelangelo. Fragment of the fresco "The Creation of Adam".

But Raphael disobeyed him. The castle was opened, and he studied with interest the creations of the great master, good there was something to learn. Michelangelo much better than Raphael depicted people muscular and physically strong, all sorts of gods and heroes and was a master of painting nudes. And Raphael was also impressed by the power, majesty and relaxed poses of the characters of Michelangelo's frescoes and began to widely use what he had seen in his paintings.

Raphael. Self-Portrait. 1506 г.

All this is reflected in the painting "Madonna of Alba". Madonna is no longer a meek timid girl with a shy smile, but a mature and strong woman, accustomed to peasant labor, ready to give birth and raise more than one child. She sits confidently, reads a soul-saving book, and at the same time looks after her little ones. But this is even more natural, it is felt that Raphael is ready to learn and accept all the best that was in painting at that time, and this is the handwriting of a true master.

And what Raphael's Madonna you like best - write in the comments.

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