Renaissance art from the 15th and 16th century continues to inspire us, even though they were painted more than 700 years ago. What is their allure? As the English poet W.B. Yeats put it: “Quattrocento put in paint, On backgrounds for a God or Saint, Gardens where a soul’s at ease.” Whether you find the art soul-easing is one thing, but the majesty and gracefulness of Raphael paintings is impossible to deny. Raphael, it should be known, was also a create imitator. As the younger master of the four (he was younger than Da Vinci, Donatello and Michelangelo), he naturally copied his progenitors to assimilate their style. But did you know he also produced a Mona Lisa copy?
Circa 1506 Raphael started a portrait that was in homage to Da Vinci. He too chose to portray a wealthy Florentine woman, but this one was named Maddalena Doni. The subject has the same pose as the subject in the Mona Lisa and in many ways the subjects had other similarities. Art historians note Maddalena and her husband were art collectors, so perhaps they fancied a similar portrait, or perhaps it was at Raphael’s suggestion. Whatever the motivation, the subjects are remarkably similar: they have the same indifferent facial expression, the same crossed hands and the same body posture. The work also possesses Raphael’s touch of timeless power, grace and strength, being superior to Da Vinci’s work in the way the face itself becomes a work of art due to the interplay of shadows.
The Raphael work is important because many art critics point out that the copy is a copy of how Da Vinci would have wanted his version to look, not like the one the Prado Museum has recently bandied around. It should lend weight to the conservatives, who insist that the Louvre should not clean the painting, but leave it as it is. And why should they? With the Prado Museum copy, they have the best of both worlds.
We don’t have any Raphael paintings that feature Maddalena Doni, but we do have a wealth of paintings from other Renaissance artists and quite a good selection of Impressionist, Surrealist and Abstract Expressionist. All the paintings listed on the website come with a 30-day, 100% money back guarantee that means you will never be out of pocket if you don’t love your painting. Shipping is also always free, both ways (if you choose to return it). We bet that wasn’t a feature of Florentine merchants in the Renaissance heyday.