Raphael painted this Holy Family during his stay in Florence, possibly for the ruler of Urbino, Guidobaldo Montefeltro. With its mood of sublime sorrow, in this picture anything prosaic or banal would be alien to the heroes, yet this does not deprive them of a feeling of naturalness. The smooth lines, the harmonious combination of colours and the compact composition all contribute to create a sense of monumentality and grandeur. The soft chiaroscuro modelling the forms is evidence of the influence of Leonardo da Vinci on the young artist.
Holy Family (Madonna with Beardless Joseph)
Entered the Hermitage in 1772; acquired from the collection of L.A. Crozat, Baron de Thiers in Paris