The Madonna of the Pinks ('La Madonna dei Garofani'), Raphael, 1506-1507 oil on yew, National Gallery, LondonAmong the most famous painters of the Italian Renaissance, Raphael was born exactly 528 years ago on 6th April 1483 and also died on a 6th of April in 1520.
This small painting deals with a subject with which the artist was very familiar: the Virgin Mary with the infant Jesus. The painting has been famous since the time of its creation. Various copies have been made and in the 19th and most of the 20th century it was questioned whether this was the original. Close visual examination revealed that this is actually a work by Raphael himself.
Mother and child are represented seated interacting with each other, showing emotions that would occur between a young mother and her baby and forming a very realistic and tender scene. They hold pinks, a symbol of marriage. The Virgin Mary is therefore not only the mother but also the bride of Christ.