Madonna of Foligno, 1511-12
"Tempera grassa" on wood transferred onto canvas
Pinacoteca Vaticana, Vatican City
Today's art comes to us from the Holy See, also known as Vatican City, the smallest sovereign nation in the world. I visited the Vatican in 1985 for an hour or so. Just long enough to see the Sistine Chapel and the Pieta, basically. I would have been nice to stay longer, see the museums, maybe take a look at the Vatican Pornography Collection, but there just wasn't the time. Alas.
I almost eliminated the Vatican from this project. A few days ago I realized I had left West Virginia off the list of the states and countries I'd visited. My first thought was to combine Italy and Vatican City, since they're kind of the same place. But then my brother pointed out that eliminating Italy from a project dedicated to great works of art to make room for West Virginia was kind of ridiculous. And, good point. Ultimately, I decided to eliminate Delaware instead of West Virginia, because I couldn't find anything good from Delaware. There was this Andrew Wyeth painting that was sort of wintery, but... eh. Anyway, how's about this swell Raphael Madonna? In case you were wondering, the four guys at the bottom of the painting are St. John the Baptist, St. Francis, Sigismondo de' Conti -- who commissioned the painting in thanksgiving to the Virgin Mary for having saved his house from burning down after a lightning strike -- and St. Jerome.
2003: "Rejoice and Be Merry"
2004: Tintoretto, Madonna of the Stars
2005: Mele Kalikimaka e Hau'oli Makahiki Hou!
2006: "Bethlehem of Judea"