Portrait of Andrea Navagero and Agostino Beazzano 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 portrait of Andrea Navagero and Agostino Beazzano was created in 1516 by Raphael. He was an Italian High Renaissance painter who had a long list of famous paintings behind his back.

This particular painting was created with oil over a canvas medium that was about 76cm by 107 cm. The painting is now housed in Galleria Doria Pamphilj in Rome. It was initially thought that each of the gentlemen in the painting would be painted alone. However, Raphael decided that the portrait would look great if they were painted together. The portrait was intended as a gift to their friend called Bembo who was a Venetian.

Another portrait by Mantegna that included two scholarly friends seated and facing the painter may have inspired the idea of bringing two sitters in a portrait. Such a portrait represented love and companionship. Moreover, he may also have been motivated by his general success in the art and had started to look at other ways to improve on his work. Raphael was using pigments on the canvas with the drying oil becoming the binder. The conventional drying oils used at the time were linseed, walnut and poppy seed oils. He did not use any wax in on the image although plant resins were commonly used to preserve the paint.

The canvas was used for the painting had a somewhat matte finish on the side where the painting was done with the underside being a little tougher to enhance the longevity of the material. This painting has a cool greenish background with an excellent transition to the gentlemen in the foreground. Raphael aimed at creating portraits that showed the characters in their daily activities or their natural faces. He does this very well in the portrait by enhancing the tones used for the faces of the two gentlemen. He goes to pans to being out each detail, including the shaping of the beard. Like many of his other paintings, he achieved a good contrast when painting the clothing part while reflecting the actual dressing at the time.

Raphael sprung into fame with the Borghese Entombment oil painting. When he represented the image at Galleria Borghese in Rome, it got the attention of Atalanta Baglioni of Perugia. She was a member of the family of the Lords in Perugia. Also, she commissioned Raphael to paint a number of other portraits with Andrea Navagero and Agostino Beazzano portrait being commissioned by the subjects in the portrait. Raphael images capture the true spirit of the Renaissance at the time.

People expressed new-found freedom and increased knowledge to innovate than during the dark ages. This portrait depicts men in a relaxed composure and warm faces. In addition, the painter shows his perfection is enhancing the relationship between the two gentlemen in the image and the moral quality of the background. At the point in history, black and white paintings were still popular. However, the use of colour helped Raphael bring to the fore characteristics that would not have been possible in black and white.