The Sistine Madonna

Raffael (1483-1520) | Painter


Why is this image one of the most famous works of the Renaissance? Raphael created a unique composition that seems like a heavenly vision. The Virgin carries the Christ Child over the clouds down to Earth. Saint Barbara and Pope Sixtus form a large triangle with her. This heightens the presence of the painting, which stood on the main altar of San Sisto in Piacenza and whose impact must have been felt throughout the church. The cherubs waiting for Mass draw our gaze upwards into the picture.

Material & Technique
Oil on canvas
Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister
c. 1512/13
Inventory number
Gal.-Nr. 93