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MADONNA OF DIVINE LOVE:The beginning of the story about this painting by Raffaello

Click here to go to the Italian version of this blog post. (I WILL ADD LINK FOR THE FINAL VERSION)

Leonello Pio Da Carpi of Mendola in 1514 commissioned a painting to Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino. It became known only after 1544 when Giorgio Vasari (on right), the Art Historian of the time, wrote a book on all his contemporary Artists.

Giogio Vasari the Renaissance Art Historian
Picture of Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino

His book “The Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors and, Architects.” It has been printed and translated by different Authors several times. It is a reference for all Arts Historians of the Renaissance.

Vasari writes about many paintings by Raffaelo. The painting’s description of the Madonna painted for Senor Da Carpi is the most quoted by all the Art Historians. Here is Vasari’s description of the 1514 painting on canvas by Raffaello:


“For Signor Leonello da Carpi, Lord of Meldola, who is still alive, although more than ninety years old, he executed a picture that was most marvelous in coloring and of a singular beauty, for it is painted with such force, and also with a delicacy so pleasing, that I do not think it is possible to do better. In the countenance of the Madonna may be seen such a divine air, and in her attitude such a dignity, that no one would be able to improve her; and he made her with the hands clasped, adoring her Son, who is seated on her knees, caressing a S.John, a little boy, who is adoring Him, in company with S. Elizabeth and Joseph.”
“This picture was once in the possession of the very reverend Cardinal da Carpi. the son of the said Signor Leonello, and a great lover of our arts, and it should be at the present day in the hands of his heirs.”

Page 280-281 The Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors and, Architects by Giorgio Vasari
Cardinal Rodolfo Pio Da Carpi

Who was Cardinal Rodolfo Pio da Carpi?