Three Graces (Raphael)

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The Three Graces
Raphael - Les Trois Graces - Google Art Project 2.jpg
Artist Raphael
Year1504–1505
Medium Oil on panel
Dimensions17.1 cm× 17.1 cm(6.7 in× 6.7 in)
Location Musée Condé, Chantilly

The Three Graces is an oil painting by Italian painter Raphael, housed in the Musée Condé of Chantilly, France. The date of origin has not been positively determined, though it seems to have been painted at some point after his arrival to study with Pietro Perugino in about 1500, [1] possibly 1503-1505. [2] [3] According to James Patrick in 2007's Renaissance and Reformation, the painting represents the first time that Raphael had depicted the nude female form in front and back views. [3]

Inspiration and theme

The image depicts three of the Graces of classical mythology. It is frequently asserted that Raphael was inspired in his painting by a ruined Roman marble statue displayed in the Piccolomini Library of the Siena Cathedral—19th-century art historian [Dan K] held that it was a not very skillful copy of that original—but other inspiration is possible, as the subject was a popular one in Italy. [1] [4] Julia Cartwright in Early Work of Raphael (2006) proposes that the painting bears far more influence of the school of Ferrara than classical sculpture, making clear that the statue was not Raphael's model. [5]

Vision of a Knight (1504-1505)
Raphael RAFAEL - Sueno del Caballero (National Gallery de Londres, 1504. Oleo sobre tabla, 17 x 17 cm).jpg
Vision of a Knight (1504-1505)
Raphael

The three women in the painting may represent stages of development of woman, with the girded figure on the left representing the maiden (Chastitas) and the woman to the right maturity (Voluptas), though other interpretations have certainly been advanced. [6] [7]

In 1930, Professor Erwin Panofsky proposed that this painting was part of a diptych along with Vision of a Knight and that based on the theme of Vision the painting represented the Hesperides with the golden apples which Hercules stole. [8] Some art historians disagree with Panofsky's conclusion. Roger Jones and Nicholas Penny, in 1987's biography Raphael, suggest that the scale differences of the figures in the paintings make it unlikely that they were intended as a diptych, though "one might have formed the lid of the other." [9] In 16th Century Italian Art (2006), Michael Wayne Cole opines that while "there can be no doubt that they form a pair...they must not be imagined as a diptych, which is excluded by their square shape and also by the change in scale of the figures." [7] Cole presents the figures as handmaidens of Venus, holding the golden apples with which she is associated and affirming the proper connection of "Virtus" (presented by Vision) and Amor. [10]

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<i>Vision of a Knight</i> (Raphael) painting by Raphael

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<i>St. Michael Vanquishing Satan</i> painting by Raphael

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<i>St. George</i> (Raphael, Louvre) painting by Raphael in the Louvre

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<i>Portrait of a Young Girl</i> (Christus) Oil on oak painting by Petrus Christus

Portrait of a Young Girl is a small oil-on-oak panel painting by the Early Netherlandish painter Petrus Christus. It was completed towards the end of his life, between 1465 and 1470, and is held in the Gemäldegalerie, Berlin. It marks a major stylistic advance in contemporary portraiture; the girl is set in an airy, three-dimensional, realistic setting, and stares out at the viewer with a complicated expression that is reserved, yet intelligent and alert.

Christ Carrying the Cross Christ on the road to Golgotha, artistic theme

Christ Carrying the Cross on his way to his crucifixion is an episode included in all four Gospels, and a very common subject in art, especially in the fourteen Stations of the Cross, sets of which are now found in almost all Catholic churches. However, the subject occurs in many other contexts, including single works and cycles of the Life of Christ or the Passion of Christ. Alternative names include the Procession to Calvary, Road to Calvary and Way to Calvary, Calvary or Golgotha being the site of the crucifixion outside Jerusalem. The actual route taken is defined by tradition as the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem, although the specific path of this route has varied over the centuries and continues to be the subject of debate.

<i>St. Michael</i> (Raphael) painting by Raphael

St. Michael is an oil painting by Italian artist Raphael. Also called the Little St. Michael to distinguish it from a larger, later treatment of the same theme, St. Michael Vanquishing Satan, it is housed in the Louvre in Paris. The work depicts the Archangel Michael in combat with the demons of Hell, while the damned suffer behind him. Along with St. George, it represents the first of Raphael's works on martial subjects.

<i>Sistine Madonna</i> painting by Raphael

The Sistine Madonna, also called the Madonna di San Sisto, is an oil painting by the Italian artist Raphael. The painting was commissioned in 1512 by Pope Julius II for the church of San Sisto, Piacenza. The canvas was one of the last Madonnas painted by Raphael. Giorgio Vasari called it "a truly rare and extraordinary work".

<i>The Ecstasy of St. Cecilia</i> (Raphael) painting by Raphael

The St. Cecilia Altarpiece is an oil painting by the Italian High Renaissance master Raphael. Completed in his later years, in around 1516–17, the painting depicts Saint Cecilia, the patron saint of musicians and Church music, listening to a choir of angels in the company of St. Paul, St. John the Evangelist, St. Augustine and Mary Magdalene. Commissioned for a church in Bologna, the painting now hangs in that city's Pinacoteca Nazionale. According to Giorgio Vasari the musical instruments strewn about Cecilia's feet were not painted by Raphael but by his student, Giovanni da Udine.

<i>Crucifixion Diptych</i> (van der Weyden) painting by Rogier van der Weyden

Crucifixion Diptych — also known as Philadelphia Diptych, Calvary Diptych, Christ on the Cross with the Virgin and St. John, or The Crucifixion with the Virgin and Saint John the Evangelist Mourning — is a diptych by the Early Netherlandish artist Rogier van der Weyden, completed c. 1460, today in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The panels are noted for their technical skill, visceral impact and for possessing a physicality and directness unusual for Netherlandish art of the time. The Philadelphia Museum of Art describes work as the "greatest Old Master painting in the Museum."

<i>Madonna in the Church</i> Small oil panel by Jan van Eyck

Madonna in the Church is a small oil panel by the early Netherlandish painter Jan van Eyck. Probably executed between c. 1438–40, it depicts the Virgin Mary holding the Child Jesus in a Gothic cathedral. Mary is presented as Queen of Heaven wearing a jewel-studded crown, cradling a playful child Christ who gazes at her and grips the neckline of her red dress in a manner that recalls the 13th-century Byzantine tradition of the Eleusa icon. Tracery in the arch at the rear of the nave contains wooden carvings depicting episodes from Mary's life, while a faux bois sculpture in a niche shows her holding the child in a similar pose. Erwin Panofsky sees the painting composed as if the main figures in the panel are intended to be the sculptures come to life. In a doorway to the right, two angels sing psalms from a hymn book. Like other Byzantine depictions of the Madonna, van Eyck depicts a monumental Mary, unrealistically large compared to her surroundings. The panel contains closely observed beams of light flooding through the cathedral's windows. It illuminates the interior before culminating in two pools on the floor. The light has symbolic significance, alluding simultaneously to Mary's virginal purity and God's ethereal presence.

<i>Durán Madonna</i> painting by Rogier van der Weyden

Durán Madonna is an oil on oak panel painting completed sometime between 1435 and 1438 by the Netherlandish painter Rogier van der Weyden. The painting derives from Jan van Eyck's Ince Hall Madonna and was much imitated subsequently. Now in the Prado, Madrid, it depicts a seated and serene Virgin Mary dressed in a long, flowing red robe lined with gold-coloured thread. She cradles the child Jesus who sits on her lap, playfully leafing backwards through a holy book or manuscript on which both figures' gazes rest. But unlike van Eyck's earlier treatment, van der Weyden not only positions his Virgin and Child in a Gothic apse or niche as he had his two earlier madonnas, but also places them on a projecting plinth, thus further emphasising their sculptural impression.

<i>Madonna Standing</i> (van der Weyden) painting by Rogier van der Weyden

The Madonna Standing is a small painting by the Flemish artist Rogier van der Weyden dating from about 1430–1432. It is the left panel of a diptych held in the Kunsthistorisches Museum (KHM), Vienna since 1772. The right panel portrays St. Catherine and is also attributed by the KHM to van der Weyden, but is inferior in quality and generally regarded as by a workshop member.

<i>Virgin and Child Enthroned</i> c. 1433 painting attributed to Rogier van der Weyden

The Virgin and Child Enthroned is a small oil-on-oak panel painting dated c. 1433, usually attributed to the Early Netherlandish artist Rogier van der Weyden. It is closely related to his Madonna Standing, completed during the same period. The panel is filled with Christian iconography, including representations of prophets, the Annunciation, Christ's infancy and resurrection, and Mary's Coronation. It is generally accepted as the earliest extant work by van der Weyden, one of three works attributed to him of the Virgin and Child enclosed in a niche on an exterior wall of a Gothic church. The panel is housed in the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid.

References

  1. 1 2 Bodkin, Thomas (January 2010). The Approach to Painting. READ BOOKS. p. 107. ISBN   978-1-4446-5858-3 . Retrieved 26 June 2010.
  2. Champlin, John Denison; Charles Callahan Perkins (1913). Cyclopedia of painters and paintings. C. Scribner's sons. p.  163 . Retrieved 26 June 2010.
  3. 1 2 Patrick, James (2007). Renaissance and Reformation. Marshall Cavendish. p. 1183. ISBN   978-0-7614-7650-4 . Retrieved 26 June 2010.
  4. Muntz, Eugene (May 2005). Raphael: His Life, Works, and Times. Kessinger Publishing. pp. 76–77. ISBN   978-0-7661-9396-3 . Retrieved 26 June 2010. Struck by the beauty of The Three Graces, which Cardinal Piccolomini had transferred from Rome to the Siena Library, he made a copy of it, which..., as might be expected, was full of faults due to the artist's inexperience...
  5. Cartwright, Julia (18 October 2006). Early Work of Raphael. Kessinger Publishing. p. 16. ISBN   978-1-4254-9624-1 . Retrieved 26 June 2010.
  6. Bodkin (2010), p. 108.
  7. 1 2 Cole, Michael Wayne (2006). 16th century Italian art. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 42–43. ISBN   978-1-4051-0841-6 . Retrieved 26 June 2010.
  8. Bodkin (2010), pp. 108-109.
  9. Roger Jones; Nicholas Penny (10 September 1987). Raphael. Yale University Press. p. 8. ISBN   978-0-300-04052-4 . Retrieved 26 June 2010.
  10. Cole (2006), p. 43.