Madonna and Child (Madonna of the Pinks)

Artist

after RaphaelUnknown artist

Date

n.d.

Medium

Oil on canvas

Dimensions

12 5/16 x 9 1/8 in. (31.3 x 23.2 cm)

Description

The small painting of which this is a copy was painted by Raphael for private devotion and was probably meant to be held in the hands of its owner. The Virgin presents a carnation—or “pink”—to her son in a bedchamber. (The bed curtain is looped behind her head.) The pinks were an emblem of marriage; in an age that prized symbolic allusions in minute details, this familiar symbol presented the Virgin Mary not only as the Mother but also as the Bride of Christ. Raphael based his painting on an earlier piece by Leonardo da Vinci (the Benois Madonna; now in the Hermitage, St. Petersburg). In both, the mother and son no longer sit stiffly and formally as in earlier paintings, but now display a palpable intimacy natural between a mother and her young child.

The original by Raphael was “rediscovered” in 1991 in the collection of the Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, England, where it had been considered a copy for over a century. (Copies of the Madonna of the Pinks abound.)  In 2004 the original by Raphael was purchased by the National Gallery in London. The Athenæum’s copy dates possibly from the eighteenth century, when the original by Raphael is thought to have been in France.

Credit Line

Gift of the Estate of Louis Agassiz Shaw, 1991

Object Number

UR242

Angels Making Music (Linaiuoli Triptych)

Artist

after Fra AngelicoUnknown artist

Date

n.d.

Medium

Oil on panel

Dimensions

16 × 6 in. (40.6 × 15.2 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Pauline M. Cooke, M.D. (AKA – Pauline Ancrum), 1991

Object Number

UR238ab

George Washington

Artist

after Gilbert StuartUnknown artist

Date

about 1846

Medium

Oil on canvas

Dimensions

24 5/8 x 20 1/16 in. (62.5 x 51 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Elizabeth Bass (Mrs. Frank W.) Constant, 1979

Object Number

UR165

Martha Washington

Artist

after Gilbert StuartUnknown artist

Date

about 1846

Medium

Oil on canvas

Dimensions

24 1/2 x 19 15/16 in. (62.2 x 50.6 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Elizabeth Bass (Mrs. Frank W.) Constant, 1979

Object Number

UR166

Night, from the Medici Tombs

Artist

after Michelangelo (Italian)Unknown artist

Date

copy, 19th century

Medium

Bronze

Credit Line

Louis Agassiz Shaw bequest by default, 1991

Object Number

UH202