Mystical Madonna in the Pinks: A Raphael in Doubt Essay

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Madonna in the Pinks, whose existence cannot be substantiated before 1833 , was not identified as an autograph painting of Raphael until 1991, after an acquisition made by the National Gallery in London by using public funds. However, the authenticity of the rediscovered painting attributed to Raphael remains under some dispute. Apart from the incomplete provenance, it demonstrated visual inconsistency in style and quality with other proved works of Raphael, supplemented with the incomprehensive scientific re-verification that the current attribution of the masterpiece-to-be perhaps still needs to be viewed with skepticism.
By comparison to the identified paintings of Raphael, discrepancies can be spotted from both clothing of Virgin Mary
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It seems that the crowded picture is atypical for Raphael even of paintings in similar indoor setting such as the Bridgewater Madonna (fig. 4) and Madonna de Orleans (fig. 5)
Stylistic concern is not the only argument that objects the painting’s attribution to Raphael, but also the inferior quality in the rendition of Mary and Christ. Observations of Beck suggest that Mary’s hair looks confusing and unsolved , while the underdrawing revealed by IR investigation shows a clearer representation of the braids that possibly the painter-in-question became more “exclusive on this own during the painting stage that he dropped the refinement of her hair” stemming from mimicking Raphael’s painting when drafting. Furthermore, the current depiction conveys a sense of obfuscation in posing of Mary’s right thigh compared to Small Cowper Madonna (fig. 2) or the Bridgewater Madonna (fig.4), with statically drawn Infant balancing difficultly on the invisible leg of Mary . It is inexplicable that the engravings (fig. 6 and 7) after the painting look more convincing that they have complemented the unnaturalness of the original.
It is claimed by the National Gallery that the use of pigments in Madonna in the Pinks coincides Raphael’s common choice of pigment in other paintings and they also postulated the painting to be a study of Leonardo’s Benois Madonna (fig. 8) However, the identification of

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