…on my audience with Raphael

“The creation of beauty is art.” I love art: both as a beholder and a creator; and this is not a discourse as would be adduced by an Art Historian; rather, my affecting reaction to the exquisite Raphael exhibition at Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum.

I stood transfixed by these incomparable pictures in the company of Mel (we did our Masters together), who is a dear friend, and also an art lover.

The drawings are unequivocally stirring, and and the observer is swept up in love, tenderness, terror and compassion in equal measure when existing, for a mere few hours, in the Renaissance world of this Master.

The raw terror suffered by the subjects of Massacre of the Innocents, equally poignant to me; this observation: “…the baby’s eyes are little dots and it lolls as if dead in her arms…” augmented the terror, in the knowing of the inevitable conclusion; and it is important to note that Raphael, purely through delineation of affectivity, related violence and cruelty sans glorification.


Terror and fierce protectiveness: “Massacre of the Innocents”

Raphael’s own gentleness is divulged in his mothers and children; which have been said to be his most demonstrative, and it has been hypothesised that this was a manifestation of his being orphaned young.


Love between mothers and children: “Study for the Madonna of Francis”

Touching synergy is perceptible in A Man Carrying An Older Man on His Back, where the interchange is witnessed not in facial countenance; rather, posture: the older man surrenders himself — and his life — unconditionally, in trust, to the command of the younger.


Tenderness and interaction:
“A Man Carrying An Older Man on His Back”


Envy (the good kind):
my own rendering of “Study of the Heads of Two Apostles and of Their Hands”

Infinite wonder is is realised via both perceptual discernment and virtuosity on the part of Raphael.

“Every artist was first an amateur.”

— Ralph Waldo Emerson, Progress of Culture

Perhaps so; but, not Raphael…

3 thoughts on “…on my audience with Raphael

  1. You amazingly demonstrated through your words and your rendering of his study that there is a connection between the artist and the beholder. As you know with today’s technology anything in print or canvas can be reproduced within seconds, but you chose, approximately 500 years later, to draw with the same manner and tool that he had available. From the minute your eyes gazed upon his drawing to the second you placed you pencil down, there was a connection between you and Raphael. How wonderful!! It just goes to show you that the beauty of these masterpieces, the feelings they stir within, and the connection we have with the artist both in the physical world and beyond never ends. Thank you for always inspiring me my friend… xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

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