Madonna d’Orleans by Raphael, 1506. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ARapha%C3%ABl_-_La_Madone_de_la_maison_d’Orl%C3%A9ans_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg
Christmas draws near, yet I haven’t featured a religious painting in at least a week. The Madonna and Child are, of course, at the very heart of Christmas, and no one painted them more beautifully that Italian Renaissance artist (1483-1520). There are so many Raphael Madonnas to choose from, but I thought this one was particularly pretty. His most famous, of course, is La Belle Jardiniere, now at the Louvre museum in Paris. People walk past it without noticing it on their way to see Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, but I think the Raphael is a much more enjoyable painting.