Raphael 1483 – 1520

Alba Madonna

oil on canvas (ø 94 cm) — 1510 Museum National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

Raphael biography

Tags: Madonna

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John the Baptist looks upwards at Jesus, who sits in his mother Mary's lap. In their hands the boys hold a cross. Mary sits on a low chair. The scene is set against an Italianish landscape.

The scientist Paolo Giovio commissioned Raphael to make this panel. In the 18th century it was acquired by the Spanish House of Alba - hence its name.

The Russian czar Nicolas bought it in 1836 and stored it in his Hermitage palace. There the painting was transfered from panel to canvas.

In the 1930s, during the Soviet rule, it was sold to the American banker and art collector Andrew Mellon. He later donated his collection to the National Gallery in Washington.

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