The Holy Family (The Madonna del Velo; Madonna di Loreto)

Copy after Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio)mid-16th century

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The infant Christ Child reclines on pillows while the Virgin Mary lovingly gazes down at him. She holds a transparent veil in her hands towards which the child playfully extends his hands. In the shadows behind the Virgin, Joseph watches the happy scene. This intimate and touching view of the Holy Family exemplifies the Renaissance fascination with Jesus' humanity. The Virgin's beauty and youth, the child's pudgy body, and their warm smiles enhance the sense of the Holy Family as ordinary, loving, and ultimately very human.

Pope Julius II may have commissioned the painting in 1509, hanging it on a pillar, along with his portrait, during festivals in a Roman church. Thirty-five known versions of this painting exist, making it one of Raphael's most popular Madonnas.

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  • Title: The Holy Family (The Madonna del Velo; Madonna di Loreto)
  • Creator: Copy after Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio)
  • Date: mid-16th century
  • Physical Dimensions: 120.7 x 91.1 cm (47 1/2 x 35 7/8 in.)
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Oil on panel
  • Source Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Object Type: Painting
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 71.PB.16
  • Display Location: Not currently on view
  • Department: Paintings
  • Culture: Italian
  • Credit Line: Gift of J. Paul Getty
  • Classification: Paintings