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This is yet another portrait of the holy family that confirms Raphael's obsession with the religious culture. Through this portrait, Raphael comes with another version that displays some of those angelic moments of the father, the mother and the son who make up the holy family having some valuable time together.
It is amongst the many portraits that Raphael drew while he was in Florence. This painting is dated back in circa 1504 while Raphael was still at the peak of his career. If you look closely to his paintings in order, you can see the advances he makes from one painting to another. It is indisputable that he has the skills and passion to come up with such a memorable painting. The similarities of his style to that of Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo can be easily noted from this amazing piece.
Ever since he arrived in Florence, all his artworks were produced through the technique of oil on a panel. This medium is his favourite and it seemed to enable him to produce high-quality paintings that were considered very influential. It is also the same technique that his master Perugino used to teach him. There is no telling how many people used this technique but they were quite a number. Some great painters like Andrea Del Verrocchio preferred tempera on canvas which was a very common technique used during the early Renaissance. Leonardo da Vinci used oil and tempera but he preferred oil.
As mentioned earlier Raphael tried so much to absorb the skills of the renowned painter Leonardo, if you look at this painting there are some certain aspects that can only be realized in Leonardo’s paintings. These are more visible in the background of the painting. Leonardo had mastered the art of painting detailed backgrounds. Seems like Raphael adopted his ideas and started coming up with highly detailed backgrounds as seen in this painting.
Raphael exhibits a rich landscape that is filled with character and architectural elements to make it more realistic. The skies are painted vividly to make them so visible and also add value to the painting. By a far distance, you can be able to see birds flying. The best part about this site is that they are so visible to be depicted as birds, too far to help tell the distance and yet too insignificant to be given enough attention by the audience.
He then displays the Holy family like he always does. Clear, vibrant and expressive. We see the young Christ trying to ride a lamb and the mother who is Mary trying to stop him. Just like other portraits, Joseph is simply staring at the boy as he stares back directly. It is also clear that unlike the other paintings, in this particular one, Raphael made Joseph much older and frail. From a distant, you can see other people. For the first time, insignificant individuals were incorporated in the painting. All these minute details seem to be very important when it comes to adding a special touch to the painting. The artwork is currently found at Museo Del Prado in Madrid, Spain. Despite being a typically smaller painting, it carries weight and absolute significance in the religious culture.