Alba Madonna

841 Words Mar 25th, 2014 4 Pages
The Alba Madonna

Raphael Sanzio known primarily by his first name alone was an Italian High Renaissance artist known for his drawings and paintings. Raphael lived from 1843 until 1520. He along with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci are considered the greatest artist of their time. He spent the early years of his career in Umbria and Florence, but spent his later years in Rome. He produced art for two different Popes during his time in Rome before dying at the age of thirty seven. One of his highest celebrated pieces is The Alba Madonna completed in 1509. This painting depicts the Virgin Mary holding baby Jesus who is grasping at a cross being held by his cousin, a young John the Baptist. All three subjects are focused on the cross
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http://www.wga.hu/index1.html . Influenced by Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, Raphael began to use pen and ink extensively around 1505. He also used black chalk in his early drawings than began to use red chalk consistently around 1514. Raphael probably utilized red chalk, black chalk, and charcoal for the drawings in The Alba Madonna. Raphael was known to use oil paints with pigments on wood, panel, canvas or wood for his paintings. The materials used for The Alba Madonna painting were oil paint on panel which was then transferred to canvas. Raphael used more paint on his works than other artist of his time. According to some, this serves as an example of his extreme talent due to the fact that oil paint in that era was a difficult material to use and was unforgiving. Prior to Raphael’s The Alba Madonna, there had been numerous paintings of the Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus. What was unique about this one was the fact that a very young John the Baptist was included. In his painting, Raphael has John the Baptist holding a cross and the Baby Jesus grasping it. All three subjects in the painting are gazing at the cross. Church teachings state that Jesus had an understanding of his fate at a very young age. This painting signifies that understanding. Baby Jesus is accepting his future fate of suffering and dying on the cross. His mother Mary and cousin John are also accepting of his fate. Raphael has captured

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