The Sistine Madonna by Raphael. Description of the picture

Do you remember these lines by A. S. Pushkin:

What a pensive genius in them,
And how much childish simplicity,
And how many languid expressions,
And how much bliss and dreams! ..
It will be lowered them with a smile Lel -
In them the modest graces of triumph;
Raise - angel Raphael
So contemplates the deity.

Better to say about Raphael is impossible. No matter what we say, we will only rewrite endlessly, rearrange words and comment on the immortal lines of the great Russian poet.

sistine madonna description

The evolution of images of the Blessed Virgin Mary

"Sistine Madonna" - perhaps the most tragic image of the Virgin created by Raphael. The face of the Most Pure Mother expresses not only the strongest love for the Son, but also - what is most important in this image - the decisive and at the same time humble acceptance of the will of God the Father, who gave her the Infant, so that she, after raising Him, would give it to the slaughter.

There are two images of the Virgin, which created Raphael, - "Sistine Madonna" and "Madonna Sedia" (or "Madonna in a chair"), where she does not look at the Child. Compare these two works.According to the latest research, the Madonna in the Chair was written in 1515-1516, and the Sistine Madonna in 1517. Before writing these paintings Madonna Raphael were alienated from people. The Virgin Mary enjoyed socializing with her child, admiring him, her undead. "Madonna Sedia" - this is the first call, a premonition of the tragedy. A virgin presses the Divine child to herself not tenderly, but with some frenzy, as if she wants to save her from something. Rafael made him so plump, overfed, - all the love of the mother was invested in this baby. She stares intently at each of us, the dumb question froze in her eyes: “Will you not take Him away from me? You will not harm Him? ”The presence in the picture of John the Baptist is an important emotional component of the plot. Many researchers believe that the “Madonna Sedia” is a growing anxiety, internal stress is too strong a hug, too much preservation of the Infant. From the unusual, flourishing femininity of the previous images, through a premonition in the canvas “Madonna Sedia” - to the fact that then explodes the tragedy in the “Sistine Madonna”.

The most tragic image of Our Lady

What does the Mother see, resigned to the will of God the Father and accepted the sacrificial essence of her Son, Raphael? "The Sistine Madonna" is not accidentally depicted in full growth. She goes to the people, like on stage. Large and heavy baby holds easily. She already understood that she must give Him, that He does not belong entirely to her. In all its guise - determination. She does not peer at each of us separately, like Madonna Sedia. She looks straight ahead and as though through us, as if not attaching significance to any person, no matter how significant in the world of people she is. We are all for her - humanity, which needs forgiveness. Do not we require sacrifice. The Lord Himself brings her for our salvation, and She accepts her destiny and forgives all of us, so weak and helpless. Her tender and young face radiates extraordinary strength and wisdom, which is impossible in ordinary people. The Virgin Mary comes out from behind the scenes and moves through the clouds. Is the world in the vision of Raphael a theater, a stage, an illusion? Real, real life in heaven? ..Rafael Santi Sistine Madonna

We are not given to comprehend the secrets of the works of geniuses of the Renaissance

It must be said that all artists of the Renaissance were artists of extensive and deep knowledge.Much attention is usually not paid to this, but in order to leave the legacy that Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci or Montaigne left, it was necessary to know a lot. So the artist was, of course, and Rafael Santi. “Sistine Madonna” is a set of mysteries, metaphors, each component of the picture has a certain meaning. He has nothing by chance. The images created by Raphael and other artists of the Renaissance, represent the great historical and artistic, historical and spiritual and philosophical research. They make you think, ask yourself questions: “What is depicted? Why did he draw it? Why did he portray it in this way and not in another way? ”In this sense, the era is undoubtedly unique. It seems that heaven itself descended on mankind, giving him so many uniquely gifted people, geniuses, and the Sistine Madonna painting was undoubtedly written by a genius. Genius is mysterious and not deciphered.

Symbolism and graphics

In the works of Raphael there are no important or minor details. He has everything thought out to the smallest detail. Of course, first of all we look at Mary as a woman and a Mother, with feelings we perceive Her attitude towards the Infant, Her love for Him, Her anxiety for Him.And what if you try to look at these images not emotionally, but from the point of view of the graphics of the paintings, how they are arranged compositionally? For example, Madonna Sedia.Sistine Madonna paintingMentally draw a spiral arc around Mother’s face, then, in external orbit, draw a line along the sleeve of the Virgin and the Baby’s hand, capturing two faces, then again, along the external orbit, then, along the Foot of the Infant, capturing John the Baptist, again into the external orbit and draw an arc along the dress of Madonna to the place where it ends. The result was a spiral of three and a half turns. This is how the composition of this picture was organized. At first it was organized, and only then comprehended as an image.

What is a three and a half helix spiral? And then and now it is a well-known ecumenical, cosmic sign. The same spiral is repeated on the shell of snails. Is this an accident? Of course not. This was known from the construction of medieval Gothic cathedrals. The art of inscribing figures in the symbols of compositions, of course, masterfully mastered and Raphael.

The Sistine Madonna is written out so that the Latin R. is clearly discernible in the silhouette of Mary.Looking at the picture, we are visually moving along a closed oval describing the Virgin. Such a circular movement, of course, was planned by the artist.

Rafael is joking?

What other secrets does the Sistine Madonna hold? The description of Pope Sixt IV, placed in the left part of the picture, is always accompanied by a request to count the number of fingers on his right hand. Their 6, is not it? In fact, what we perceive as a little finger is part of the palm. Thus, the fingers are still 5. What is it? An oversight of an artist, a joke, or a hint of something that Christian theologians have learned from their history? Raphael glorifies, bows before the Mother of God and laughs at the Pope of Rome, Sixth IV. Or maybe he jokes about Julius II, Sixt's nephew? Julius ordered him this work and he himself posed for the picture. It is assumed that the “Sistine Madonna” was written on the canvas as a banner for the tombstone on the future grave of Pope Julius II, and the angels at the bottom of the picture rest on the coffin lid. The history of moving and selling paintings by Catholic hierarchs, which they a priori (by law) did not have the right to do, is also quite ambiguous and full of slyness, however, like the legends about the reason for writing a masterpiece.Raphael Sistine Madonna

What is primary - spirit or matter?

Renaissance artists had few failures, few blunders. The fact is that, before doing something, they first structured their works. And Raphael is the first designer of all his things. As a artist, we perceive only Raphael as an emotional, ideally harmonious, perfect in the form of expressing an idea, and he is in fact a very constructive artist. The basis of all his paintings, the basis of all his compositions, both pictorial and monumental, is an absolutely architectural and constructive basis. He is the perfect set designer for all his creations.

Humanism of Raphael

Raphael - the great humanist of the Renaissance. Look at any of his work - smooth lines, Tondo, arches. These are all symbols that create a feeling of harmony, reconciliation, unity of the soul, God, man and nature. Rafael was never unloved, never been in oblivion. He worked a lot for the Catholic Church - he painted high-ranking Christian officials and saints. Creating images of the Madonna takes up a very large layer of his life. Perhaps this is due to the early death of his own mother.His father, an artist and poet, taught him a lot, but he also died when Raphael was only 11 years old. The easy and benevolent nature of Raphael can be explained precisely by the difficult life. He knew the warmth of his parents' house and became orphaned at the age when his mother and father remained in the memory forever very bright images. Then he studied and worked a lot. At the age of 18, he became a student of the brilliant and wise Pietro Perugino, who had a tremendous influence on the formation of the personality of Raphael.Sistine Madonna

Beauty created by Raphael will save the world

The train of Raphael's raincoat is huge. You can talk about this endlessly. At the end I would like to say only one thing - there is a very widespread maxim of F. M. Dostoevsky: “Beauty will save the world” Who does not repeat this phrase, where it is just not written. Today it is absolutely empty, because no one understands what kind of beauty, what it is all about. But for Fedor Mikhailovich it was a maxim, and this maxim was undoubtedly associated with the work of Raphael “The Sistine Madonna”. She was his favorite picture, and for the birthday of the writer his wife and Panaeva ordered a fragment of this image in Dresden.The photograph is still hanging in the house-museum of Dostoevsky. Of course, for the philosopher-writer, the Sistine Madonna was thus a way of beauty that could save the world, because it was in the Sistine Madonna that there was a unique combination of unmatched feminine beauty, gentleness, purity, sensual charm, perfect holiness and sacrifice, which in the 19th century, perhaps, were understood in the duality of human consciousness, in the split of the world, much more than at the end of the 16th century. The amazing thing is a combination of extraordinary sensitivity, tenderness, such endless spirituality, absolute purity and perfection of forms and such classic set design rationalism. This is where the completely inimitable and amazing features of the ever-loved and unforgettable Rafael Santi.

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