The Virgin of the Goldfinch

size(cm): 55x40
Sale price£150 GBP


The Virgin of the Goldfinch was painted by Raphael for the marriage of his friend Lorenzo Nasi and Sandra di Matteo di Giovanni Canigiani.

The painting portrays the Virgin sitting on a rock, holding a book. Before her, Saint John the Baptist hands a goldfinch to Jesus. The composition is pyramidal, inspired by Leonardo's paintings, with the Virgin at the vertex of an imaginary triangle. The greatness and originality of the painting lies in the intimate and delicate atmosphere of the scene, which expresses the idea of ​​beauty as balance, harmony, natural gestures and serene spirituality. To copy the three human figures from his preparatory sketches onto the wooden board, Raphael used the duster technique. The original drawing was first drilled along its contours, then placed on the board, and finally dusted with powder color to transfer the pattern to the wood. However, the mountainous landscape in the background and the bridge were painted freehand.

In 1547, Lorenzo Nasi's house collapsed, burying the artwork. Nasi's son, Giovanbattista, managed to salvage the painting from the rubble. Fortunately, although the board had broken into 17 pieces, it was possible to put it back together. Between 1999 and February 2008, the painting underwent a lengthy restoration. Today, the Madonna of the Goldfinch is exhibited in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.

Recently Viewed