Catalog of the Fine Arts Collection
Please note that the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum prohibits the use of images from its collection in public exhibition, broadcast, electronic reproduction or publication in any form without prior written permission from the institution. If you would like to reproduce any of the Art Gallery images in any form, contact us at 748-8291.
After Raphael Sanzio (1483-1520), Italian
Raphael's Sistine Madonna was originally painted around 1512-14 for the high altar of the Church of St. Sixtus (to whom the word "Sistine" refers) in Piacenza, a town in northwestern Italy. The dramatic lighting and dynamic composition are typical of the artist's later work—a relative term given that the artist died at age thirty-seven—and convey a sense of immediacy and direct engagement with the viewer not seen earlier. The resemblance between the kneeling figure of the third-century Pope Sixtus II in Raphael's composition to his patron, Pope Julius II, may have been an intentional gesture of flattery.