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Raphael: Madonna of the Meadow

Background
Raphael was the final artist of the big three. Raphael was not multitalented like the other two artists from the big three. He was mostly known for his gracefulness and perfection in his work. Raphael may have not had many talents, but he sure could paint beautiful pictures. He even shared his talents through his own school. He is most remembered for painting his madonnas, and one of his most famous was the Madonna of the Meadow (1505-1506).

Interpretation
Raphael may have only worked on this madonna for a year, compared Leonardo and Michelangelo who worked on their paintings for four years, but it has very specific details and is still very gorgeous. This painting is Raphael’s interpretation of Jesus as a young child, just learning how to walk, as his mother, Mary, supports him. Jesus is trying to stand while John, also known as St. John the Baptist, is kneeling at Jesus’s feet. Since Jesus is standing over John, this could mean, in the future, John would worship Jesus and his teachings. In addition to the symbolism in this piece, there are many artistic techniques used. For example the color selection. Raphael intentionally chose bright colors for Mary’s dress so that both the baby’s pale skin and Mary’s pale skin would jump out. As for many of the pieces in the Renaissance they are religion based, like the Madonna of the Meadow, which captures the spirit of the Renaissance. But this madonna does not only show Jesus and his mom, it also shows the future baptist of Jesus. Furthermore, Raphael’s Madonna of the Meadow is not only a terrific piece, but it also captures the spirit of the Renaissance and the Catholic religion.

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