Italian Treasures in the US Italian Treasures in the US

Madonna and Child with Book

Norton Simon Museum

Pasadena, CA

Raphael (Santi)

Year: 1502-1503

Type of Work: Painting

Material: Oil on panel

Description: Painted when the artist was just nineteen years old, Madonna and Child with Book epitomizes the clarity and classical balance of High Renaissance paintings. The idealized, serene figures are described simply and naturally. The deep, blue arch of the Madonna's silhouette encloses the Christ Child, who reaches for a book she holds. The inscription in the book introduces the ninth hour, or Nones of the Canonical Offices, recited daily by all monastic communities. The Nones commemorates Christ's crucifixion and death. With eyes turned to heaven, the Child contemplates His own role as Savior. Raphael has depicted more than just a beautiful image of the Madonna and Child -- he has created a meditation piece.

Dimensions: 21 3/4 x 15 3/4 in. (55.2 x 40 cm)

Norton Simon Art Foundation
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