Betrothal of the Virgin Mary - Rafael Santi. 174x215; 121 cm
One of the most famous works of the early period of the great Raphael Santi.
The painter finished the picture depicting the famous biblical story in 1504, and it was from this work that Rafael went to fame as a prevailing master of an unusual rare talent.
The work clearly shows the influence of Perugino, in whose workshop Raphael studied for many years.
The picture is characterized by an ideal symmetrical composition, while the artist managed to bring a lot of revolutionary new into the biblical canonical plot.
The painter depicted Maria and Joseph not in the temple, as was customary, but in the center of the square. The whole landscape is permeated with a double meaning. On the one hand, a majestic temple with a through passage through which light pours, symbolizes God's blessing, on the other hand, the structure is presented to the viewer as a visual barrier between the earthly and heavenly, the busy square sharply contrasts with the lonely beautiful landscape on the other side of the temple.
All acting heroes are deprived of statics - their poses are natural, and gestures are endowed with lyricism. Mary and Joseph are depicted practically incorporeal - spiritualized, with love and humility they bowed their heads before the priest. In the hands of Joseph, Raphael gave the staff, as a symbol of the chosen one. Next to the couple, the rejected groom breaks his staff on his knee.
A limited number of colors were used in the picture - the master plays with half tones, while creating the necessary rhythm and color.
For a long time, the painting wandered through various churches and chapels (without leaving Italy), until in 1806 it was bought by Napoleon's stepson Eugene de Beauharnais for the Academy of Fine Arts.