Portraits Doni, Rafael

Portraits Doni, Rafael
Portraits Doni, Rafael

Rafael of Urbino, also known as Raphael of Sanzio, is one of the most outstanding artistic figures of the Italian Renaissance, his kind and realistic work excited the highest spheres of Italian society and over time has become to be one of the main masters of the Renaissance. In this sense, his Madonnas are famous, the compositions of the Virgin with the Child as protagonists of the scene, which they liked so much and made him so famous; however, the artist was not only successful with religious paintings, portraits were another of the speci alties of the artist from Urbino.


On this occasion we find two portraits of important Florentine merchants, often the surname Doni refers us to the famous Tondo Doni, a small and well-known work by the artist Michelangelo Buonarroti. This is so since the patrons of the Tondo Doni and those of Raphael's portraits were from the same family, a rich and we althy lineage of Florentine merchants who enjoyed numerous successes in their businesses.

The portraits of Angolo Doni and Magdalena Doni are made in two vertical compositions that each measure just over two feet high and almost eighteen inches wide. They are made in oil on canvas and it seems that they could have been painted around the year 1506. It is possible that the two portraits were originally configured as a diptych and thatwere painted on the occasion of the couple's marriage. In fact, the wedding of Angolo and Magdalena Doni was celebrated in 1504, however, the bride and groom would take advantage of the magnificent painter's stay to immortalize his portraits.

In the case of Magdalenawe observe a complexioned woman who stands in the foreground facing the viewer but who diverts her gaze towards the outside of the canvas as if something draw her attention. She appears dressed in her best clothes and the importance and detail with which the artist has portrayed the woman's jewelry is especially striking. Her arrangement in the loggia and with the natural landscape in the background allows us to see the Leonardesque influences in Raphael's work and comparisons of her with the famous Gioconda or Mona Lisa are inevitable.


For his part inthe portrait of Angolo Donithe artist shows us a new facet to which he may not have us so accustomed, Angolo's portrait is hard and implacable; the kindness to which Rafael has accustomed us in his works has given way to a realistic portrait with harsh features and a severe gesture, in which the echoes of the psychological and non-idealized portrait can be appreciated. The sitter occupies almost the entire composition, leaving only small spaces through which the natural landscape can be glimpsed. The red of his clothing stands out, which contrasts with the black of his coat and refers us to some pieces by Piero della Francesca -see the Portrait of the Duke of Urbino- that the artist could easilymeet.

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