(Urbino, 1483 – Rome, 1520)
Lo sposalizio della Vergine/The Marriage of the Virgin 1504
Oil on board, cm 170x118
Pinacoteca di Brera. Scuole dell’Italia centrale e meridionale, Milano
The Brera in Milan has one of the iconic paintings of the Renaissance: The Marriage of the Virgin (Lo sposalizio della Vergine) by Raphael
The panel (signed and dated: RAPHAEL URBINAS MDIIII) was commissioned by the Albizzini family for the chapel of St Joseph in the church of S. Francesco of the Minorities at Città di Castello, in Umbria.
The painting was painted while Raphael was in Perugia. he had not yet made his residencies in Florence and Rome.
In Perugia, the cult of the relic of the holy ring was strong.The relic of the holy ring, which was stolen in 1473 from Chiusi by a German Franciscan and brought to Perugia, and it quickly became the city's prize possession.
The painting is obviously influenced by his master`s Perugino`s Marriage of the Virgin now in Caen. which was placed in the chapel dedicated to Saint Joseph in which it was placed in the Cathedral of Perugia in 1484.
Raphael's altarpiece was also for a St. Joseph chapel, and was commissioned in distinct emulation of the one in Perugia, but in Citta di Castello there was no relic of the holy ring
The circular temple is a complex echo of the unifying figure of the ring,