The Sistine Madonna, also called the Madonna di San Sisto, is an oil painting by the Italian artist Raphael Sanzio. The altarpiece was commissioned in 1512 by Pope Julius II for the church of San Sisto, Piacenza. The canvas was one of the last Madonnas painted by the artist. Giorgio Vasari called it “a truly rare and extraordinary work”.
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Facts About Painting
- It was the last painting to be completed by Raphael own hands.
- Legend has it that when Antonio da Correggio first laid eyes on the piece, he was inspired to cry, “And I also, I am a painter!”
- The King of Poland was so moved by the image that he moved his throne to better show the masterpiece to the people.
- During the Second World War it became necessary to move the painting to Switzerland until it was taken in 1946 by the Russians who in 1955 returned it to Germany as an act of joining forces with the German people.
- Monks direct request that the painting have both the aforementioned Saints in the painting with the Virgin Mary.