Lady Of The Unicorn Analysis

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Portraits drawn by Raphael are a vital source for the analysis of his artistic motives. “Lady of the Unicorn” (fig. 3), one of Raphael’s earliest Florentine portraits, owes much to Leonardo’s “Mona Lisa” in its design. However, the clarity of light which infuses even the shadows with colour not only recalls Raphael’s early exposure to the paintings of Piero della Francesca, but also in itself a statement he wanted to make through his art. Raphael’s obsessive experiments with clarity of features cannot be construed as a mere influence of his teachers or contemporaries. Somewhere deep down, deliberation to do away with the mysterious haziness associable with divine or religious mystification must have inspired the Italian great to incorporate…show more content…
4) is another outstanding example of Raphael’s Roman portraits. At the centre of this harmonious composition Raphael adds a curious psychological note in the melancholy eyes that illuminate the cardinal’s pallid and exhausted countenance. The portrait has been drawn in accordance with Leonardo’s opinion that portraits can be drawn best with a dark background. A reference to dark backgrounds may remind the reader of Raphael’s Florentine period under the influence of Leonardo when he produced “Granduca Madonna” (fig. 5), the masterpiece where he was able to draw exquisite rhythmical modulations out of the motionless simplicity of the design. Giorgio Vasari noted that Raphael excelled in creating effects of drapery folds disappearing into shadows and coming forward into light, and that he knew how to relate the colours of drapery to the flesh tones so that semi-nude figures did not seem cut into two. “Granduca Madonna” shows the perfect execution of the above technique to achieve softness and unity, with the semi-nude Child’s drapery blending beautifully with the tint of his flesh and the Madonna’s clothes blending elegantly with the black background with soft edges that create relief in an atmosphere of harmonious submissiveness to the

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