Raphael’s Madonna of Foligno, painted circa 1511-1512, is a striking piece of artwork that displays the artist’s mature style. The painting was commissioned by Sigismondo de’ Conti for Pope Julius II and features a breathtaking depiction of the Virgin Mary with her son. What makes this work unique is its emotional power, resulting from Raphael’s expert use of light, color and expression to convey the inner turmoil of the figures.
The painting depicts two different Jesus children and refers to the solar eclipse during which Saint Francis of Assisi received his stigmata. Remarkably, Raphael merges multiple themes into a single composition using strong visual symbols such as clouds and cherubs. Additionally, one can note how he blends both classical and Christian motifs in a way that unveils his mastery of art.
This creation marks one of Raphael’s last Madonnas before he passed away in 1520 at just 37 years old. The complex pose executed on canvas once transferred from wood panel depicts Mary wearing an intricate Roman matron dress. Overall, Madonna di Foligno is an exceptional testament to Raphael’s artistic abilities and still remains one his most renowned masterpieces today!