This quick sketch is reminiscent of the Madonna paintings created in the Renaissance period (fifteenth and sixteenth centuries). While Mary, the Mother of Jesus, may be referred to as “the Madonna” in other contexts, in art the term is applied specifically to an artwork in which Mary, with or without the infant Jesus, is the focus and central figure of the picture. Traditionally, she is depicted expressing compassion, grief and love.
One Renaissance painter known for presenting his Madonna’s with perfection and grace, was Raphael (or Raffaello Sanzio). His work is often cited for its harmony and balance of composition. His delicate skill easily complimented the idea of presenting the Madonna as a harmonious and sympathetic figure. Of course, Raphael’s personal life was much more adventurous as he traveled through Italy as an artist, was the best friend of Pope Leo X, and refused to marry his fiancé for preference of his mistress. According to one story, his death was caused by a long night of excessive sex with his mistress, after which he fell into a fever. He was given the wrong cure by his doctors, and he died at age 37.