OIL PAINTING: The Virgin and Child with Saint John the Baptist, 1507
Everything appears calm. Raphael shows the Virgin, looking almost like a countrywoman and almost like a "refined tenderer of the garden ["jardiniere"], seated on a rock, her face standing out against the sky and framed by clouds.
The landscape is of the simplest kind, a meadow dotted with a few flowers,
spindly trees, hills, a village in the distance. But everything is woven around
the poses and the expressions. Raising his eyes towards his mother and leaning on her, the Child tries to grasp the book - in which is told the time of the sacrifice. Kneeling, St John is facing Jesus and is about to stand up again - to give him the cross. Amid a scene of utter serenity we glimpse the announcement of the Passion of Christ.