The Holy Family of the Oak Tree Raphael Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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The holy family of the oak tree is one of the most significant paintings developed by the great painter Raphael. He was known to be a fierce painter with great skills and intuition.

It is said that he drew the first part of the painting and was later finished by Giulio Romano. The painting was developed in circa 1518 and was included in the largest collection of religious paintings. He is seen to make great development with a unique approach different from that of other painters. This is considered to be among some of his greatest artworks. It makes him stand out as a skilled individual and proves that he is not just any ordinary painter.

On a panel of 144cm by 110cm Raphael was able to achieve worldwide recognition by coming up with such an amazing portrait of the holy family. He used the technique of oil on panel and this was carefully done using total creativity and great craftsmanship. This particular technique was very common during the high renaissance period where most artists are seen to slowly let go of temperate and adopt oil as the main painting media. This technique is seen used some of the greatest artists like Leonardo da Vinci who is known for his brilliant paintings.

When you take a closer look at the painting you will notice the significant amount of details incorporated into it. It’s like Raphael took his precious time to make sure that the painting looked both impressive and expressive in terms of content and visibility. This painting is seen to portray some similarities as one of his other painting commonly known as La Perla. He comes up with a very great piece of the holy family comprising of Joseph, Mary, young Christ and Saint John.

The background of the painting is amazing with clear details fully expressed inch by inch. The blue skies with scattered clouds can be seen from afar. The oak tree is well painted giving it a natural look. Raphael then went ahead to focus more on the four individuals who form the holy family. Their garments have been painted with distinct colour and appearance to give the painting a great finish. He captures the emotions of each one of them without missing a detail. You can tell that young Christ is in a jovial mood and so is Saint John who is holding a scroll written Ecce Agnus Dei which translates to lamb of God. Raphael was able to fit all these details in one painting without squeezing anything anywhere.

This religious painting of the holy family of the oak is currently well kept in the Museo Del Prado a well-known museum in Madrid, Spain. It is not known who commissioned it. The whereabouts of its original location are also not yet to be discovered. This painting holds great meaning and its religious value is far much greater. It is one of the few paintings that gives an insight into the life of Christ. The scroll bares a great message. The holy family of the oak tree is one of the most amazing paintings Raphael ever developed.