Madonna del Prato - by Raphael

In his Madonna del Cardellino, Raphael was far more successful borh in integrating the symbols of the Passion into a natural-looking scene, and also in relating the figures through their gestures. As in Madonna of the Rocks by Leonardo and in Raphael's own Madonna del Prato, the Virgin has turned her head towards the boy Baptist; but here she also has her arm around him and is moving him closer to Christ, who is standing safe and secure between his mother's legs. Compared to the Madonna del Prato, the whole group is conceived more three-dimensionally, and, largely because of the rock on which the Virgin is sitting, is more fully integrated into the landscape. Here the borrowed figure motifs owe more to Michelangelo than to Leonardo. Michelangelo's Madonna of Bruges clearly anticipates the narrow but fully three-dimensional group of the painting. Moreover, in Michelangelo's sculprure, as in the Madonna of the Rocks, the Christ Child stands safe and secure between the legs of the Virgin, whose upper body is straight and firm, and whose knees thrust forward powerfully. Here, as he did when under Perugino's influence, Raphael has combined figures from various sources - the Christ Child recalls Michelangelo's Pitti Tondo, now in the Bargello, Florence.