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Famous Painters Blogroll

Anguissola, Three Sisters Playing Chess and Phillip II of Spain

Bingham, Fur Traders Descending the Missouri

BonheurPlowing in the Nivernais

Bonheur, The Horse Fair

Botticelli Primavera

Caravaggio, Fashion and Art History

CaravaggioConversion of St. Paul

Caravaggio, Young, Sick Bacchus and Basket of Fruit

Caravaggio, Cardsharps and Fortune Teller

Caravaggio, St. Francis of Assisi in Ecstasy

Caravaggio, Taking of Christ (Kiss of Judas)

Caravaggio Paintings at the Villa Borghese

Cave Paintings

Cezanne, Bathers

Cezanne, Card Players

Cezanne, Most Famous Paintings 

Copley, Paul Revere

David, Death of Marat 

David, Death of Socrates

David, Napoleon Crossing the Alps

de Kooning, Retrospective at MoMA (Part I)

de Kooning,Excavation and Painting, 1948 

de KooningWoman I

Delacroix, Liberty Leading the People  

Diebenkorn, The Ocean Park Series

Duncanson, Robert Seldon.  Art History Welcomes Duncanson 

Durer, The Four Apostles

El Greco, Burial of Count Orgaz

FontanaPortrait of a Noblewoman

Frankenthaler, Color Field Painting and Mountains and Sea

Gainsborough, The Blue Boy

Gentileschi, Artemisia.  Judith Beheading Holofernes

Gentileschi, Artemisia.  Self-Portrait as an Allegory of Painting 

Ghent Altarpiece.  

Ghent Altarpiece via zoom

GiorgioneThree Philosophers 

Goya, Family of Charles IV

Goya, The Third of May 1808 

Goya, Duchess of Alba; Saturn Devouring his Son; Two Old Men; Half-Submerged Dog; Black Paintings

Grunewald, Isenheim Altarpiece

Hals, Banquet of the Officers of the St. George Civic Guard

Hals, The Laughing Cavalier

Hals, Regents of St. Elizabeth's Hospital

Hopper, Nighthawks

Ingres, Grande Odalisque and Portrait of Madame Moissetier

Isenheim Altarpiece

Kahlo, Renowned Frida Kahlo Paintings.  

Angelica Kauffmann.  Self-Portrait Torn Between Music and Painting and David Garrick.  

Klimt, The Kiss and Adele Bloch-Bauer

Leonardo, Painter at the Court of Milan, National Gallery, London 

Leonardo, La Bella Principessa 

Leonardo, New Mona Lisa

Leonardo, Benois Madonna and Madonna Litta 

Leonardo, Savior of the World(Salvator Mundi) 

Leonardo, The Virgin and Child with St. Anne

Leyster, Famous Female Painters 

ManetA Bar at the Folies-Bergere

Manet, Luncheon in the Studio

Manet, The Old Musician

Manet, Street Singer

MantegnaDead Christ

Matisse Paintings, In Search of True Painting

Matisse, The DanceThe Music

Matisse, The Cone Collection

Matisse, The Red Studio

Matisse, The Yellow Dress

Michelangelo, Crucifixion with the Madonna

Michelangelo, Famous Paintings

Michelangelo, La Pieta with Two Angels (latest attribution?)

Michelangelo, St. John the Baptist Bearing Witness

Modersohn-Becker, Famous Female Painters

Monet, Waterlilies

Morisot, Famous Paintings

MorisotMore Famous Paintings

Munch, The Scream

O'Keeffe, Jack in the Pulpit

Picasso, Girl Before a Mirror

Picasso, Nude, Green Leaves and Bust

Picasso, Portrait of Gertrude Stein

Picasso, Las Meninas

Piero della Francesca, The Baptism of Christ

Poussin, Assumption of the Virgin

Raphael, Sistine Madonna

Rembrandt, Aristotle with a Bust of Homer 

Rembrandt, Night Watch

Rembrandt paintings at Frick Show

Rembrandt, Self-Portrait at an Early AgeJeremiah Lamenting the Destruction of Jerusalem, The Jewish Bride

Rembrandt, The Syndics of the Amsterdam Drapers' Guild

Rubens, Venus and Adonis

Sanchez Cotan, Spanish Still-life

Sargent, El Jaleo

Sargent, Madame X

Steen, The Christening Feast 

Steen paintings at Frick Show

Tanner, The Banjo Lesson and The Thankful Poor

Titian, Assumption of the Virgin

Titian, Bacchus and Ariadne

Titian, Man with a Glove

Titian, Nymph and Shepherd, Allegory of Prudence, Jacopa Strada, St. Jerome, Slaying of Marysas

Titian, Rape of Europa

Uccello, Battle of San Romano

van der Weyden, St. Luke Drawing the Virgin

Velazquez, Pope Innocent X

Vincent van Gogh paintings up to 1889

Vincent van Gogh paintings, 1888-1890

van Eyck, Arnolfini Portrait

van Eyck, Adoration of the Lamb

van Eyck, Ghent Altarpiece

van Gogh, The Potato Eaters

van GoghMemory of Garden at Etten; Tatched Cottages; White House

van Gogh,  Portrait of Madam Trabuc; Morning: Going Out

van Gogh, Starry Night

Velazquez, Juan de Pareja

Vermeer, Girl with a Pearl Earring

Vermeer, The Kitchen Maid

Vermeer, The Allegory of Painting

VermeerGirl with the Red Hat

Warhol, Campbell's Soup Cans

Warhol, Marilyn Diptych and Gold Marilyn 

Warhol, Mao 

Anders Zorn

Famous Paintings by Art Museums - ebooks

Learn about famous paintings to see in these art museums:

Albright-Knox Art Gallery (Buffalo, NY). One of those intimate, small art museums with a stellar collectionFamous Paintings at Albright-Knox. 

Art Institute of Chicago: Plan to see these famous paintings at the Art Institute -- and download an ebook about them.

Louvre Museum, (Paris): one of the largest art museums in the world! Know which Louvre paintings not to miss in this sortable ebook. 

Mauritshuis Museum: explore works by renowned Dutch painters

Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York City): download the ebook, Famous-Paintings-Metropolitan-Museum, to learn its must-see masterpieces.

National Gallery (London): with 2300 famous paintings alone in its European painting section, discover highlights to see!  Art Paintings to See at the National Gallery.

Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam): 10 famous paintings not to miss

Washington, D.C. Art Museums: Explore forty famous paintings in Washington, DC in this article.

Most Popular Posts

Michelangelo PaintingsThe Torment of Saint Anthony; The Manchester Madonna;Holy Family (Doni Tondo); and Entombment

Cave Paintings: explore this prehistoric art in Spain and France.

Picasso's Las Meninas: 58 Picasso paintings inspired by Velazquez's Las Meninas

Ghent Altarpiece: the van Eyck masterpiece, one of the most famous artworks ever made. 

Survey of Renaissance Paintings: want to know what Renaissance paintings were all about? Start with 20 of its most famous painters in this sweeping survey! 

Discover more of readers' favorite art history blog posts. 

Female Artists

While we long for the time when artists are artists and genderless, that time isn't yet here.

These are a few of the female artists who've left lasting legacies in the history of painting:

Sofonisba AnguissolaThree Sisters Playing ChessPhillip II of Spain

Rosa Bonheur.  Plowing in the Nivernais.  Horse Fair.

Lavinia Fontana. Portrait of a Noblewoman.

Helen Frankenthaler. Color Field Painting and Mountains and Sea. 

Artemisia Gentileschi.  Judith Beheading Holofernes.  Self-Portrait as an Allegory of Painting.

Frida Kahlo.  Frida and Diego Rivera.  The Two Fridas.  The Love Embrace of the Universe. 

Angelica Kauffmann.  Self-Portrait Torn Between Music and Painting.  David Garrick.

Judith Leyster.  Self-Portrait.  The Proposition. 

Paula Modersohn-Becker. Self-Portrait with an Amber Necklace. Still Life with Goldfish. 

Berthe Morisot.  Refuge in Normandy.  The Cradle. 

Georgia O'Keeffe. Jack in the Pulpit Series. 

Survey of Female Artists

Art History Other

Art History Blogs

ArtDaily: daily breaking news about art museums and art history.

Art Blog by Bob: this brilliant art history blogger of Picture This on Big Think.

Art History Resources. Unwieldly but informative.

Marisol Roman.  A Spanish art history blog.

Mother of all Art & Art History Links: extensive list of online art history resources (including images, research resources, and art history depts.)

smARThistory. Think online art history textbook.  Brilliant. 

Art History Beyond Europe

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Famous Paintings Reviewed

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Famous Paintings: Sistine Madonna

  
  
  

An art history blog post from Famous Paintings Reviewed.

Some works, like Sistine Madonna, become famous paintings for all the wrong reasons (or at least some unimpressive ones).  By some accounts (including that of Thomas Hoving, former Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art), Sistine Madonna is the best of Raphael paintings.

Its fame comes from the two mischevious putti with tousled hair at the bottom of the painting.  They've appeared on as many t-shirts 
raphael-sistine-madonna
Raphael.  Sistine Madonna, 1513.  Oil on canvas, 8' 8 1/2" x 6' 5".  Gemäldegalerie, Dresden.

and coffee mugs as The Scream and Mona Lisa! 

That aside, I believe that Sistine Madonna is one of the best paintings in the European history of painting.

But a bit of biography about Raphael, born Raffaello Sanzio (anglicized to "Raphael").  

Raphael (1483 - 1520) was born in Urbino and received his first painting instruction from his father.  Although Giorgio Vasari claimed his father was a Renaissance painter of little skill, that couldn't have been totally true -  Raphael was acknowledged as a significant talent when he was just 17.

He then studied in the studio of Pietro Vannucci, known as Perugino (c. 1450 - 1523), and so completely adopted his teacher's style that it has been sometimes difficult to differentiate Perugino frrom Raphael paintings.  In about 1505, Raphael, then 22, traveled to Florence to see the highly acclaimed works of Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo.  Because these two raphael self portrait resized 600

Raphael.  Self-Portrait, 1509.  Oil on wood, 45 by 35 cm.  Uffizi, Florence. 

Renaissance artists were not completing works and were available to only a few private citizens anyway, Raphael rapidly established a clientele.  Raphael paintings were equally in demand as he was acknowledged as an equally competent High Renaissance painter.

Raphael was then called to Rome in 1508 by Pope Julius II, at the recommendation of the pioneer of the High Renaissance style in architecture, Donato Bramante.  Raphael spent the last twelve years of his brief life in Rome.

Sistine Madonna is likely named after Saint Sixtus II, who is kneeling to the right of the Virgin and who was the patron of the Rovere family of Pope Julius II. The Pope died in 1513, the same year Sistine Madonna was commissioned.  

St. Sixtus' cope (liturgical vestment) is embroidered with oak leaves, a symbol of the Rovere family.  To the Virgin's left kneels Saint Barbara, the patron saint of the hour of death, who is eyeing the putti resting atop the coffin.  The papal tiara sits there as well.  In the background, one can vaguely discern crowds of angels' faces. 

raphael sistine madonna detail resized 600There are some notable formal elements:

  • look how the Virgin's left hand clasps the Child's right thigh to complete a circle formed with her billowing headress;

  • the pyramidal composition - derived from Leonardo - of the Virgin at the apex and the two saints, along with the putti, at the base.

At 8' 8 1/2" tall, this Raphael painting is imposing. 

Perhaps the true test of a masterpiece is an enduring allure over time.  Sistine Madonna scores here, too.  None of than the legendary Russian novelist, Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821 - 1881) was smitten by this work, saying:

What beauty, innocence and sadness in that heavenly countenance, what humility and suffering in those eyes.  Among the ancient Greeks the powers of the divine were expressed in the marvellous Venus de Milo; the Italians, however, brought forth the true Mother of God - the Sistine Madonna."

It's no wonder that Raphael paintings earned him the moniker "prince of painters", and that Sistine Madonna remains one of his most revered and famous paintings.

 





Comments

Only the Holy Mother's eyes and also those of child Christ are sad because they are aware of the inevitable.. ..a beautiful expression indeed!
Posted @ Tuesday, August 07, 2012 12:35 PM by S Chaudhuri
Nice summary; am doing research on this painting. Can you suggest bibliography?
Posted @ Sunday, February 03, 2013 4:58 PM by Barbara de Zorzi
Barbara, 
 
I don't have a specific bibliography for the Sistine Madonna. The references I use are general art history textbooks and survey books, like these: 
 
http://www.themasterpiececards.com/art-history-books-0. 
 
Lucky you to be researching such a phenomenal painting!  
 
Thanks for your inquiry. 
 
 
Posted @ Sunday, February 03, 2013 7:27 PM by Susan Benford
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