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RAPHAEL


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Portrait of a cardinal

RAPHAEL (Raffaello Sanzio. Italian, 1483-1520)

1510
oil on canvas, 79 x 61 cm. - Madrid, Prado Museum



A harsh and bitter portrait, consequent with the sinister reputation of the portrayed man: Cardinal Francesco Alidosi was a feared and ruthless person, assassinated the same year in which this picture was finished. The figure of the young cardinal makes an extraordinary contrast with the dark background thanks to the use of the chiaroscuro. The face acquires therefore an exceptional importance in spite of its small size when compared to the body.

The intensity of the painting and the absence of artifices in a portrait of a man of such importance are really admirable, making this work one of the great portraits of the whole History of Art.

Text: G. Fernández, www.theartwolf.com

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