Madonna of the Pinks

Madonna Of The Pinks

Painting
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Madonna of the Pinks

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Description:
The Madonna of the Pinks (circa 1506-1507, Italian: La Madonna dei garofani) is an early devotional painting usually attributed to Italian Renaissance master Raphael. It is painted in oils on fruitwood and now hangs in the National Gallery, London.

Subject matter

The painting depicts a youthful Virgin Mary playing with the Christ child and handing him carnations. These flowers, whose botanical name is dianthus (Greek for ‘flower of God’), are a premonition of Christ's Passion – according to Christian legend, the flower first appeared when the Virgin wept at the Crucifixion. The event takes place in a dimly-lit domestic setting influenced by Netherlandish art. The composition is based closely on the Benois Madonna by Leonardo da Vinci, although the colour scheme of blues and greens that link the Virgin with the landscape is Raphael's own. Through the arched window is a landscape with a ruined building, symbolising the collapse of the pagan world at the birth of Christ.

Provenance

The subject matter and size of the painting, little larger than a Book of Hours, suggest that it may have been intended as a portable aid to prayer. The identity of its original patron is unknown, although an inventory from the 1850s suggests that it was commissioned for Maddalena degli Oddi, a member of a prominent Perugian family, after she had taken holy orders.

In the 19th century it was property of the painter Vincenzo Camuccini.

Attribution to Raphael

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