Madonna del Cardellino, or Madonna of the Goldfinch, was one of the earliest paintings by the young Raphael, who painted it in 1506 on the occasion of the marriage of Lorenzo Nasi, a wool merchant, to a Florentine noblewoman, Sandra Canigiari.
The subject is the Virgin Mary who, seated on a rock with a book in her hand, turns a tender and loving gaze at the children in front of her, her son Jesus and a young John the Baptist, who holds a goldfinch, a symbol of passion.
The influence of Leonardo Da Vinci can be seen in this painting,given by the pyramidal setup of the characters’ positions, the use of chiaroscuro (in this instance, the brown earth and the sky) and the facial expressions of the two children, very similar to Michelangelo’s drawings.
In 1547, the painting, located in the Uffizi Gallery, suffered serious damage when the ceiling collapsed in the building where it was housed. It split into 17 pieces, but the fragments were put together immediately and the painting was later restored by the Opificio delle Pietre Dure.
If you are visiting Tuscany you cannot miss Florence. The Renaissance city is a treasure trove of art with an astonishing contemporary vibe. Beyond the extraordinary artistic heritage, a testimony to its centuries of civilization, the best way to enjoy Florence is to stroll along the riverside avenues at sunset, or to get lost among the city’s myriad alleyways of the bohemian Oltrarno or the ...