The Cardinal

Raphael is one of the great painters of the Renaissance period, alongside Leonardo da Vinci, whose influence is apparent in his work, and Michelangelo, who was a major rival. Most of Raphael’s work is in the Vatican, where he decorated a number of rooms, or Stanze, with frescoes.

Nobody knows the name of this Italian cardinal, who is shown in a pose that is reminiscent of the Mona Lisa. Your eyes are drawn to the subject’s intense gaze, which looks straight at the viewer, and seems to follow you around the room. His thin, expressive lips and his hawk-like nose suggest an intelligent and energetic personality. The red colour stands out against the black background, and his clothing is realistically detailed, particularly the shine of the silk cloth.

Although the sitter’s identity is unknown, his portrait is one of the best in the history of art.

(c) (R) 2013, MUSMon com S.L.
Text (a) Catalina Serrano Romero
English translation (a) Thisbe Burns