Sacred Art in Hundred Words -Madonna of the Goldfinch – Raphael – 1505-1506

Madonna of the Goldfinch
Raphael
1505-1506
Uffizi Gallery

The artist presents to us a harmonious composition of two children and a mother. The curled-haired Baptist, dressed in camel skin, holds up a goldfinch in a child-like manner. Christ Child reaches out to caress the bird while meditating on the scriptures his mother has been reading to him. The Blessed Mother watches over them affectionately. Notice the tenderness shared as the barefoot Jesus stands gently on top of the barefoot of his mother. The goldfinch represents the crucifixion. Legend has it that the bird got the red spot on its head when it tried to pluck a thorn from the crown of Christ. Like the little bird, the budding Baptist would also share in Christ’s passion as he prepared the way for the Lamb of God.

– Archdiocesan Heritage Museum

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