Madonna of the Candelabra

Raphaelca. 1513 (Renaissance)

The Walters Art Museum

The Walters Art Museum
Baltimore, United States

Painted in Rome, this tondo (circular painting) 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. For more information on this tondo, please see Federico Zeri's 1976 catalogue no. 232, pp. 348-354.


  • Title: Madonna of the Candelabra
  • Creator Lifespan: 1483/1520
  • Creator Nationality: Italian
  • Date Created: ca. 1513 (Renaissance)
  • Physical Dimensions: w64 x h65.7 x d1.9 cm
  • Type: oil paintings; panel paintings; tondi
  • Rights: Acquired by Henry Walters, 1901, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/
  • External Link: The Walters Art Museum
  • Medium: oil on panel
  • Provenance: The Princes Borghese, Palazzo Borghese, Rome, prior to 1693 [1693 inventory, Room IV, no. 45]; Sale, Rome, 1797-1799; Lucien Bonaparte, prior to 1812 [mode of acquisition unknown]; Maria Luisa, Queen of Etruria, Lucca [date of acquisition unknown], by purchase; Charles Louis, Duke of Lucca [date of acquisition unknown], by inheritance; Sale, Phillips, London, June 5, 1841, no. 51; William Buchanan, 1841 [mode of acquisition unknown]; Hugh Andrew Johnstone Munro, Novar, Scotland [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Sale, Christie's, London, June 1, 1878, no. 153; Henry Alexander Munro Butler-Johnstone [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Sydney Edward Bouverie-Pusey, 1882 [mode of acquisition unknown] (?) or 1884, by purchase (?); Ichenhauser, London, 1900 [mode of acquisition unknown]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1901, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
  • Place of Origin: Rome, Italy
  • ExhibitionHistory: God's Minstrel: St. Francis of Assisi. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1982; Raphael and America. National Gallery of Art, Washington. 1983; The Taste of Maryland: Art Collecting in Maryland 1800-1934. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1984; Highlights from the Collection. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1998-2001; A Magnificent Age: Masterpieces from the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City; Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte. 2002-2004; Raffaello. Da Firenze a Rome. Galleria Borghese, Roma. 2006; Late Raphael. Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid; Musée du Louvre, Paris. 2012-2013
  • Artist: Raphael

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