B altasar of Castiglione by Raphael

B altasar of Castiglione by Raphael
B altasar of Castiglione by Raphael

This portrait painted in oil and on canvas was painted by the Italian painter Rafael Sanzio around 1519, and is currently kept in the Louvre Museum in Paris.

Raphael painted numerous portraits throughout his 37-year life. He generally painted the most famous characters of the upper class of his time, and among them appears theportrait of B altasar de Castiglione, who was also a good friend of the artist.

B altasar de Castaglione by Raphael

B altasar of Castaglione by Raphael

Castiglione was one of the most cultured characters of his time, he stood out as a writer with his workEl Cortesano. For Rafael it represented the perfection of the aesthetic and spiritual ideals of the Renaissance. And in fact, his work is considered a splendid summary of the precepts that guided the culture ofClassicism.

In other words, this canvas presents us with a character not as well known as the great Renaissance artists, but who was nonetheless tremendously important in the aesthetic and artistic thought of his time. But not only that, the portrait itself is an artistic work of the first order, and that becomes an excellent portrait work that Rafael did.

His pictorial production is extraordinarily famous, and even popular, for his religious paintings, essentially for his paintings of the Virgin asThe Madonna of the Grand Duke or the Madonna of the Goldfinch. Analyzing this type of work and comparing it with his portraits, like this one of B altasar de Castiglione or the one he made of Pope Leo X, interesting differences can be discovered between his way of painting a type of genre and another.

The main difference between one and the other works is to see how Rafael in his madonnas presents us with much more ideal images, based entirely on the search for harmony and therefore beauty. However, in his portraits it is not that he distances himself from those ideas, but he has no problem focusing on capturing reality even if that means seeing defects in those represented. I mean, he's very naturalistic when it comes to taking pictures of him.

And besides, he shows himself to us as an extraordinary painter when it comes to handling color. In the case of the effigy ofBaldassare Castiglionewe see an image in which he greatly emphasizes the use of gray and black tones on a very light neutral background. That background, the dark suit, the completely black and typically Florentine hat that he wears on his head, the bushy beard, also dark, and the white scarf around his neck and chest, mean that all these elements and colors serve to highlight the Castiglione's realistic face, in which the painter has put all his interest in representing a sharp, wise and very expressive gaze.

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