The Serpent and the Cross 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 serpent and the cross is yet another great piece created by the highly experienced painter Raffaello Sanzio famously known as Raphael. It is included in his large collection of religious paintings that have great relevance and dipper meaning to the culture.

The Italian painter is seen coming up with a rather unusual painting of the serpent and the cross. He is the only painter who was highly inclined more on the religious culture than any other field. This is one of the most influential paintings to be produced by Raphael and is known to have a much dipper meaning than just the obvious images seen. He is also among the few painters who have quite a number of artworks existing to date. His artworks have inspired so many modern artists who have mimicked most of it especially the religious ones.

Just like most of Raphael’s paintings, he uses oil on canvas technique to create this magnificent artwork. The painting was developed when the high renaissance style was prevalent. It is thus true to say that it is the same style that Raffaello of Urbino used in this particular artwork. During that period there were a couple of many other artists who delivered great paintings but none of them would outdo Raphael’s. He is always considered as the most informed painter with a better understanding of art. The creativity of Raphael in this painting is simply amazing. This is not just one of those paintings that you look and grasp the concept right away. With a quick glance, you will start wondering where the cross is and whether you are looking at the right painting. But No, Raphael decided to go simple on the painting while maintaining some sort of sophistication with the concept.

In this painting, he is seen placing more of his concentration on the woman and the snake than the background which is the cross. He is able to showcase his better understanding of art by piecing ideas together to develop a great piece that is incomparable to any. He comes up with an enormous scary snake with is mouth wide open. Taking a closer look you will be able to see the woman’s right leg stepping on the snake’s wing. Despite the size and scary features of the snake, the woman seems to be unbothered. She is seen to be very comfortable and surprisingly calm.

This piece is entirely great and the message is without a doubt complicated. He handles the woman’s appearances gently and cleverly to come up with an artistic finish. To magnify what’s going on in the paint between the woman and the snake, he decided to paint a dull simpler background. He then goes ahead to prove his keenness to minute details by making sure one of the snake’s legs is seen just below the woman’s right hand. With just the few visible details of the snake, it is easy to say that this is not an ordinary snake but one of those mythical creatures that we only here in stories. This symbolic painting is currently being kept at the Louvre Museum in Paris. There is no information available on who commissioned it and whether there was anyone who helped him with the painting.