Saturday, December 31, 2011

Raffaello Sanzio

The Canigiani Madonna
Oil on wood
131 cm × 107 cm (52 in × 42 in)
Alte Pinakothek, Munich

Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (1483 – 1520), better known simply as Raphael, was an Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance. Together with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, he forms the traditional trinity of great masters of that period. Raphael died on the 6th of April 1520 (on his 37th birthday) and was buried the next day in the Pantheon. His funeral was very well attended attracting large crowds.

The painting's name derives from the Florentine family who owned it before it passed into the Medici collection.
The Virgin and Elizabeth are sitting on the grass with their children, and Joseph is standing over them.
In this work Raphael synthesizes elements drawn from Da Vinci and Michelangelo and compounds them with a decisively Northern landscape and delicate colourist passages dominated by iridescent tones. The pyramid in which the figures are ideally enclosed is still drawn from models provided by Leonardo, but the relationships between the figures, developed through the glances they exchange and through the serene feelings they communicate, carry the composition onto a calmly descriptive plane. The tone of the painting is thus quite different from the tense and restless art of Da Vinci. His unsurpassed descriptive capacity permits Raphael to create an image full of human participation and limpid serenity.