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Raphael La Belle Jardiniere

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Short Paper Assignment: Raphael, La Belle Jardinière
La Belle Jardinière by the painter Raphael in 1507 it is an oil on canvas painting that is approximately 5 ft by 3 ft with rounded upper corners bordered by a wooden frame. Immediately you see three figures a mother and two children. Then you realize they are divine and wearing halos and that it is the Virgin Mary, Jesus as a child, and Saint John the Baptist as a child because of his attributes his cross and also his animal fur clothing. While observing the painting I noticed that the figures are much larger in proportion to the rest of the painting which is divided into three special divisions the field, the river bank area, and then the bluish-white mountains in the distance. Continuing to the pattern of three the shape of a triangle is created by the three figures heaven-fixed gaze eyes from St. John the Baptist to Jesus, to His mother who looks down on her son who is more divine then her who the child thinks opposite. The various shades of color differ to create a series of volume through color to show emphasis on textures and light. There is a more light shined upon the faces of the three figures then there is on the rest of the painting. Also the colors and shading from light to dark shows the depth. Highlighting was used to show textures such as cloth, embroidery, ripples in the cloth that caught light and the softness of the fur.
Also with careful observation I saw that the brushstrokes of the blue area of Mary’s dress is more apparent while on the rest of the painting not as much and appears more smooth. I also took this to represent water and the Jordan River in which Jesus was baptized in which I think is also represented in the background of the painting although the artist is clearly painting in his contemporary setting which is in northern Italy where the “high” renaissance era took place and Raphael was the most influential artist in this period. Even the attention to detail that he made to make the iconography accurate was important because he was an artist and could of expressed it however he wanted yet he chose to express it a certain way that would allow people to understand what was going on in the painting.
Although Raphael was influenced by other artist such as Di Vinci and Michelangelo he also created his own individual style because he had combined them to make his own. Compared to the Mona Lisa you can see how he used the same technique with lighting the face a shadowing. With Michelangelo influence you can see the anatomy of the bodies that are similar. Although Raphael uses his own technique and softens the lines and the dramatic of the shadowing making it his own style. Also I can recognize even an influence of Lippo Lippi and his version of the Virgin and the Child because of the shape of the painting and the way that the child is making contact with the mother. A variety of artist were contributors to influencing Raphael but in the end he has his own way of painting that made him influential to future artists.
In conclusion Raphael was influenced by artist and created his own distinctive style that made him known for his paintings with using his own version of combining different characteristics from other artist such as shape from on artist color from another and shading/sfumato from another and putting it all together which was pretty ingenious. After critical thought many opinions can be drawn from just looking at this one particular painting and I’m sure more can be made from it as well. Although Raphael is not as recognized as Michelangelo or Di Vinci he still was a big contributor to art.

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