Madonna del Granduca, 17th century copy
After Raphael (1483–1520)
Oil on canvas
33 5/8 x 22 1/2 in.
Original (c. 1505 or 1506) is in The Pitti Palace, Florence
Gift of Mrs. Edward Donnelly
John J. Burns Library, Francis Thompson Room, Boston College
The original Raphael takes its title from its purchase in 1799 by a Tuscan duke. Emulating Leonardo, Raphael rendered faces that were both anatomically realistic and idealized. Typical of Raphael’s style, the figures in this painting are shown with soft, rounded faces, and seem to relate to each other with gentle intimacy. The image stands out against a dark background that was probably added in the seventeenth century; X-ray examination of the original showed a window opening onto a landscape behind the two figures.