The Sistine Madonna
Raphael da Urbino
1513 – 1514
Gemӓldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden

The artist depicts the image of a young Mother cradling Christ Child. Mary mysteriously gazes at us. Her expression relates to the fact that the painting was to be displayed across a Crucifix. Swirling around the Madonna is a cloud of cherubs. To her either side genuflects the two saints, namely, Saint Sixtus II and Saint Barbara. Notice the acclaimed pair of charming cherubs. Gazing upwards, they draw us to the heart of the painting. The Madonna and the Child do not regard each other yet tenderly hold onto each other. As the mother wraps her protective arms around her little boy, she invites us to partake in this spiritual union of salvation.

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