2011 44¢ Madonna of the Candelabra
Issue Date: October 13, 2011
City: New York, NY
Printed By: Banknote Corporation of America for Sennett Security Products
Printing Method: Offset
The graceful style and mastery of subtle lighting seen in Madonna and Candelabra are hallmarks of Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (1483-1520). Along with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael is considered one of the three great masters of the High Renaissance period.
Like Raphael’s masterpiece Madonna of Foligno, Madonna and Candelabra reflects both the religious theme common to the era and his life experiences. Born in Urbino, part of the Papal States, Raphael was the son of a duke’s court painter. He was orphaned early and raised by his uncle Bartolomeo, a priest. The close relationship between the courts and the church was a constant in Raphael’s life, influencing his choice of art subjects as he moved within the highest circles of aristocracy and the Catholic Church.
In demand at an early age, Raphael was commissioned throughout northern Italy before returning to Rome in 1508. He established a workshop with some 50 pupils and assistants, many of whom contributed to Raphael’s work. Experts believe the angel to the left of baby Jesus in Madonna and Candelabra was painted by one of the colleagues. However, the clarity, grace, and harmony of the painting is a signature of Raphael’s artistic genius.