Artwork Analysis paper


Raphael, Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints, c.1505, tempera and gold on wood is a painting that was made in the early 16th century and was placed in the Mesopotamia museum of art in circa 1504. This period is regarded as the high Renaissance period when art work was given a very strong emphasis and seal by the community (Wallert et al. 1995). The painting was an order of the nuns and therefore Raphael had to use different and unique colors to distinguish various symbols, ideas, people and phenomena. Though some of the colors use in this artwork have faded over time, it is evident that Raphael used bold colors, particularly when painting the male saints which serves as an indication of the feature of Raphael style. He also uses figures of serene composition, including the striking colors to suggest that he was compensating for the conservative nature associated with bold coloring of the painting (Wallert et al. 1995).

Raphael also uses the four peripheral figures, including st. Paul, st. Peter, St. Helen, and St. Catherine of alexande. In this case, John the Baptist is pictured as an infant, but he is fully clothed. Each person in the picture has a certain representation whereby St. Catherine acts as a representation of the Christian martyrs while on the other hand St. Helen was the one who discovered the true cross that was used to crucify Jesus (Stokstad, Collins, & Addiss, 1999). Conversely, St. Peter and St. Paul are a representation of the apostles. Madonna is large compared to other traditional painting indicating that there is typical arrangement and clothing. Madonna is presented as the queen of heaven, since she is drawn wearing a red gown, thus she symbolizes the passion of Christ. To emphasize that she is the queen of heaven, she is drawn wearing the blue mantle. Also, her blue mantle act as a representation of her throne as well as the majesty of the catholic church.

In a visual analysis, there is a central panel where the artist shows the virgin together with the child in an ornate throne that is well-planned and surrounded by a ceremonial canopy.  The figures of the lunette are of special appeal as they superimpose is a half cycle over the main panel of the drawing. In particular, the three figures used in the drawing to fill the panel space completely in such a way that they do not overwhelm it and also they are in line with the perspective  of the figure in regard with the main panel.

Raphael also made intensive use of gold declarations, particularly in areas such as the panels and the architectural frames that not only surrounds but also contains them.  On the other hand, the real image of the people is drawn using oil paints. Thus the whole art is a combination of oil and gold on the panel.

The artist in this case, has a basic bias that strongly articulates for plastic forms, however, he appears to be thinking in the dimension of filling the picture plane as seen in his decorative principles. The space left below and above the figures is very small and the large looming as seen in the baldachin of the throne of Madonna cannot fit in the frame. Therefore, it is seen that the impact associated with its round shape is significantly mitigated. Basically, the art has a high horizon that plays a crucial role in flattening the protruding shape. This has a significant impact as it helps to reduce the foreshortened steps. From the perspective of the high eye level, the landscape is drawn to the height of St. Paul and Peters and therefore it is arranged in a stratum format.  The squat figures are drawn in such a unique way such that they appear to be spreading out in a plane format whereby the garments not only appears large but also expanding.

The gestures of the artistic characters as well as their stances seems to be extending towards the sides. More so, their faces are either profiling or frontal. This is because they are arranged in three layers that are flat whereby one layer is behind the other two, these two ranges of heights involved fill the space left to its maximum. Additionally, all the accessories used are a reflection of decorative intent. To emphasize on the beauty, the entire throne is ornamented through the use of the nortwork  and as well the backdrop pattern that is the back of the virgin stresses to the end of the plane.  Although the female saints are dressed in sweepingly painted clothes, their shoulders are decorated with the help of draped shawls. Basically, the colors are applied in large amounts and emphasized by little broken lights and shadows.

There is a space left around, below and above the figure in this art work. These spaces are clearly defined by the architecture of of light coloring that helps to plastic the realized landscape in a much slower horizon. The well-designed throne is elevated and made clear through the help of sculptural clarity that contains of elements that are sharply modeling the illumination. Additionally, the figure seems to be long climbing at a conscious ease while stepping or acting forward in that given space.  This help the art to present the successful foreshortening object lesson. This lesson is seen in the staffs as well as the book of St. Nicholas. More so, the lesson is also reflected by the elegant hands of the Virgin.   Additionally, light plays a crucial role as it makes the bodily features and forms to be released from the laws of the plane and also to appear as delicate rudeness (Stokstad, Collins, & Addiss, 1999). This is because it enriches the colors with soft shadows and highlights.

From a cultural and historical perspective,  there is substantive evidence to point that the painting was done during the Italian Renaissance. As a matter of fact, the architectural aspects including the frames of the main panel and the lunette assumes the style of classical architecture which was invented during the Renaissance period. In fact, these methods were widely used not only in painting but also in other architectural works.   It is also evident that the painting was made by Raphael because these artists were heavily dependent during this period, particularly on patronage that was fruitful from Chistian figures and institutions. Additionally, the painters often worked in hire and therefore these kind of maters was specified under the subject of the assigned tasks in terms of materials, size among other things to be used (Stokstad, Collins, & Addiss, 1999). Moreover, the location at which the art was to be placed was also specified and the alter-pieces of Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints coincides with the task assigned to Raphael.

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