SACRED ART IN 100 WORDS – The Transfiguration – Raphael


The Transfiguration
1516 – 1520
Pinacoteca Vaticana, Vatican City

Raphael’s last painting, ‘The Transfiguration’ is hailed as ‘most beautiful and most divine work.’ The scene takes place at Mount Tabor. The upper foreground of the painting illustrates the Transfiguration of Christ, while in the lower foreground, we see the next episode – the healing of the demoniac boy. Christ floats in glory, surrounded by Moses (law) and Elijah (prophets). The three apostles prostrate themselves in awe of this magnanimous glory. Artistically, the painting is divided into two parts: the celestial and the earthly. Observe the striking contrast through the play of light and shadow. The celestial regions are filled with splendor and calmness as against the feelings of agitation, trouble, confusion, and suffering that abounds the earth. As the finite look up and cry out for help, the Infinite Christ brings hope and restoration.

– Archdiocesan Heritage Museum

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One thought on “SACRED ART IN 100 WORDS – The Transfiguration – Raphael”

  • Beautifully explained Fr. Warner. The artist has depicted well the peace above, the anguish below and the authority & divinity of Christ on Earth & in Heaven. That Christ is the channel, the pathway for us to heaven.


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