Madonna of the Candelabra
|Medium||Oil on panel|
|Dimensions||65.7 cm × 64 cm (25.9 in × 25 in)|
|Location||Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, Maryland|
Painted during his Roman period, this tondo Madonna of the Virgin and Child employs a rare motif of flanking candelabra that was derived from representations of ancient Roman emperors. Through this reference to the rulers of antiquity, Raphael alludes to Christ's and Mary's roles as the king and queen of Heaven. Raphael was famed for his graceful style. which combined the study of classical sculpture and nature. The chiaroscuro effects (modeling in light and shade) and gentle coloring give the figures a soft, delicate appearance. The painting relies heavily on the participation of Raphael's workshop, and the two angels certainly were done by his assistants. This was the first Madonna painted by Raphael to enter a North American collection. It was purchased by Henry Walters in 1901.
The central portion of the painting was issued as the traditional holiday first class Christmas stamp for 2011 by the United States Postal Service. The stamp was released on October 13, 2011 in New York, New York.