Raphael: “Flaget Madonna”
With regard to his technique, it appears that all of his early paintings were executed using oil or egg tempera. Subsequently, he solely used oil paints as at that period in Italy, the usage of oil paints was increasingly prevalent. Raphael’s paint often contained orpiment which was also used by Leonardo and Michelangelo. Once Raphael had established himself as a painter in Rome and began working on larger frescoes, he employed assistants and pupils who became part of his workshop.
A client has requested Art Recognition to authenticate a painting which was discovered in 1995 in the English countryside. The painting in question portrays Mary cradling infant Jesus whilst Elizabeth and young John the Baptist gaze on with affection. In the background is an oak tree with a goldfinch, a symbol of the Crucifixion in ancient times. In terms of provenance, the client knew it belonged, since 1836, to the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, a convent in Kentucky. The client explained that Bishop Joseph Benedict Flaget, one of the founders of the Order, was the donor of the painting to the convent. That is where the painting got its name, the “Flaget Madonna”.
Art Analysis & Research, the prominent forensic art authentication firm based in London, determined the painting’s approximate date and location as well as the presence of orpiment. Historical analysis and forensics eliminated all other known artists of the period, including Ceraiolo, other than Raphael.
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