The Madonna of the Grand Duke. A magical painting by Raphael.
Of this painting by Raphael, which you can admire in a delicate Pitteikon print, is not talked about and not written about until 1799.
The director of the Uffizi, on November 23 of that year, wrote to the Grand Duke of Tuscany Ferdinand III of Lorraine indicating that he had seen the work from a "Florentine shopkeeper".
Said and done, the Grand Duke buys it and is fascinated by it.
Let's consider that it is an oil on panel measuring 56 by 85 cm, yet the Grand Duke no longer separates himself from it.
Wherever he goes the picture is with him. Even fleeing the Napoleonic invasion, the Grand Duke took it with him (luckily for us, otherwise it would be in the Louvre today).
Here the title of the picture becomes "The Madonna of the Grand Duke".
The image responds to the classic canons of the time: the Madonna wears a red robe and a blue tunic.
Here Raphael demonstrates, in ease, that the Leonardo nuance, for his hand, is not a problem: the nuances are delicate, sweet and beautiful.
The composition is perfect and balanced: the gesture of slight rotation of Mary to the right finds the analogous gesture in the opposite direction of Jesus.
The child's gaze involves the viewer who thus enters the sentimental atmosphere between mother and child.
The extreme sweetness of the scene, obtained thanks to Raphael's exceptional technical ability, creates a rare balance between devotion and simple humanity.
The Madonna del Granduca: a mother and her child.