Madonna del Pesce (1513-1514)

Raffaello (1483-1520)

Madonna del Pesce (Madonna of the Fish)
Oil on panel, 215 x 158 cm
Museo del PradoMadrid

Seated on a throne, the Virgin holds the Christ Child in her lap. On the right, Saint Jerome dressed as a Cardinal reads the Vulgata (The Bible he, himself, translated into Latin). The Archangel Raphael, with the lion that symbolizes him, stands with Tobias, who holds the fish with which he will cure his father’s blindness. This work is known as The Virgin with a Fish, and was commissioned by Geronimo del Doce for the chapel of Saint Rosalie at the Monastery of San Domenico in Naples. The use of color and the masterful composition whose apparent simplicity hides complex triangular, rectangular and diagonal forms, recall the Stanza d’Heliodoro painted by Raphael at the Vatican. There are preparatory drawings for the present work at the Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence, and at the National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh. The Viceroy of Naples acquired this work for Felipe IV (1605-1665) and, after a brief period in the chapel of Madrid‘s Alcázar Palace, it entered the Monastery of El Escorial in 1645. From there, it entered the Prado Museum Collection. (MNP)


Raffaello (1483-1520)
Studio per la ‘Madonna del Pesce’
Scottish National Portrait GalleryEdinburgh