Italian High Renaissance artist Raphael’s Madonna and Child Enthroned, with Saints is also known as the Colonna Altarpiece. Completed between 1504-1505, the painting measures 67 7/8 x 67 7/8 inches and was commissioned by the Franciscan convent of Sant’ Antonio in Perugia. It is housed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and is the only altarpiece by Raphael in the United States.
The piece depicts Mary holding an infant Jesus on her lap while sitting on a throne. The two are surrounded by four saints: St. Francis of Assisi, St. Jerome, St. John the Baptist, and St. Mary Magdalene. Conservative details such as Christ Child’s elaborate clothing can be seen throughout.
One can note that Raphael used oil and gold on wood to create this masterpiece elevating it beyond traditional tempera painting methods that were commonly used during that period for panel paintings like these.
Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints stands out as one of Raphael’s most significant works showcasing his mastery over composition, color palette chosen with juxtaposing colors aptly regarding their symbolism,and balance resulting in making this one among his iconic works that has inspired many followers who have copied or learned from it over time.