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'La Madonna Sistina'

Updated on February 10, 2012

"La Madonna Sistina"


Who was the artist who painted "La Madonna Sistina" ("The Sistine Madonna")? The painting attributed to Raphael Santi was not executed by his hand. The range of soft colors is reminiscent of Giorgione's "The Tempest."

All the elements of the composition suggest that the artist used the cumulus clouds for the stage of his dramatic portrayal of the New Testament's Book of Revelation. The curtains have just opened. The Virgin Mary with the Holy Child is running from the danger. She is being chased by unidentified faces delineated behind the curtains. The Virgin's physiognomy discloses her concern for the well-being of her child. The Holy Child's physiognomy discloses fear. The concerned mother is holding her child in a protective way in order not to lose him. The male figure on the left, acting as God's messenger, is pointing the way toward heaven. The female figure on the right is the Virgin's guardian angel, ready to protect her on her way. The Virgin Mary had to pass the verge with two small angels in order to be safe.

"La Madonna Sistina" can be considered the climax of artistic excellence demonstrated by the artist. The portrayal of all the figures in natural poses, the magnificent pure colors harmonized and blended with the greatest expertise, and the splendidly modeled garments attest to the artist's unsurpassed craftsmanship and deep understanding of the visual language of fine arts. Due to the celestial realism of the depicted scene, "La Madonna Sistina" deserves the new title "La Divina Madonna Sistina."


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