This paper should be continues with previous work and answer that questions that i did in the first assignment. Also research Rafael choice of subject matter in his ptgs? The Met Work fits into this category.
The paintings of Raphael
Raphael is probably one of the greatest painters who have ever lived and his art is certainly something which has to be appreciated fully to be understood. He was enormously productive producing an extremely large body of work before his untimely death at age 37. The Mteropolitan Museum of Fine Art includes a number of his paintings which we have already discussed at length in previous assignments so in this one I will concentrate on a few works which perhaps have been slightly overlooked or mentioned only briefly
The Transfiguration (1520)
This is probably the greatest painting ever painted by Raphael and demonstrates his ever advancing skill of intimate brushwork and intense portrayal of figures all around the said painting. Although it was left unfinished at his death it is still quite clearly juxtaposed and shows also that the artist was a complete master of his art. The detail in the figures is quite astounding and shoes that Raphael was extremely far advanced in his art to be able to portray such detail with ease and prowess. He also uses elements of chiaroscuro throughout which add to the consequential allure of the painting as a holistic and believable interpretation of this Transfiguration.
Another of Raphael’s great paintings is Galatea which was a commission from the celebrated Inquisitor Fabio Chigi. Here one must appreciate the intense brushwork and intrinsic artwork which demonstrates Raphael’s fabulous use of colour throughout. The painting is also informed with an incredible amount of action as the nymphs and other figures dance about creating momentum and an almost dazzling sense of occasion. One can also observe some stylistic influences from Michelangelo which inform the painting accordingly although Raphael is very much his own man in the brushwork and in the scheme of colours.
The Madonna of the Meadow (1506)
Here one must appreciate the pensive state of calm and intrinsic beauty which informs Raphael’s beautiful painting. It is a work which portrays the Madonna in a pensive gaze as she looks at the baby Jesus who is also an interesting character in his own right. The painting is also informed with some rather beautiful landscape touches that add to the colour and character of the painting as a whole. Raphael’s style is also apparent in the realism of the face as well as the beauty of the natural surroundings which blend quite magically to produce a picture of touching calm and collectedness.
Portrait of Pope Julius II
This stern and firm figure exudes confidence and authority at first glance. Pope Julius II was an autocratic ruler who exterted considerable influence both on an artistic and political level in the Vatican. Raphael choose to inform his subject with a stern gaze and intrinsic grandeur throughout and this obviously shows in his completed painting. The striking red colour of the robes is combined with the white which is also quite brilliant. Pope Julius looks at us firmly and you can sense that there is no brooking his authority as he goes about his task with firm fortitude. Raphael is also sensitive with the surroundings which are as plain as possible but also imbue a certain sense of grandeur and pomposity. It is probably one of his finest portraits in this sense.
All these four works demonstrate Raphael’s striking originality as an artist and also show us that his methods were very much avante garde for the time. If one looks quizzically at the Madonna for example, one can also observe a certain sense of feeling as well as an incredible longing for apst times and devotion. This is contrasted with the busy and powerful message conveyed in the Transfiguration painting which is probably Raphael’s greatest contribution to art in general. Although the Galatea painting is slightly less remarkable one can still observe certain nuances and details which are highly interesting. The portrait of Pope Julius II is also highly interesting and contains various elements that resurface in other Raphael portraits but which also show his intrinsic mastery at portraying his important subjects.
Although Raphael could have been influenced by other artists such as Leonardo and Michelangelo, he was very much his own man at the end of the day as these works suggest. The visit to the Metropolitan Museum was certainly instructive and hugely interesting in all its aspects and Raphael’s works definitely created a sense of occasion and rare beauty. Further works by this artist should be analyzed as his vast output allows a more critical assessment of his great work.
Salmi, Mario; 1969; The complete work of Raphael. New York: Reynal and Company,
Camesasca, Ettore; 1963; All the paintings of Raphael. New York: Hawthorn Books,
Hall, Marcia; 2005; The Cambridge companion to Raphael. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press