December Days: 23 The Sistine Madonna


For my December Days daily blogs, I have been sharing different aspects of how Christmas is special to me. I have yet to talk about the main reason, which is that Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Christ. I realize and respect that not everyone believes the same and that is their right. But I do and so today I am sharing about my favourite Madonna picture.
Click on image for info on this

One of my favourite artists is Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino also known as Raphael. I love his work called 'Sistine Madonna.' 



Many moons ago (about 1990), I found this treasure abandoned in a storage shed connected to a beach cabin I was renting in Cannon Beach, Oregon. The glass was broken, mat all torn up and print scratched. The backing was some kind of thin unfinished wood that discoloured the board. I cleaned it up, removed the wood, and had new glass (which later also broke) and mat cut. At the time, I knew nothing of the artist, I just knew I loved the image.

A couple years later someone saw it and told me it might be worth money and tried to buy it. I can't remember how much was offered, maybe $200, but I wasn't interested in selling it.



I cannot find anything to identify what company made this. I don't think it is real old and my guess it was about 5-10 years old when I got it. The print was made on high quality 19”x26” paper and dry-mounted on 26”x32” mat board to fit the frame. Matching sepia coloured lines were hand-drawn around the print and the name 'Raphael' was hand drawn in fancy letters along the bottom. Someone went to a lot of trouble in preparing this print. It is a special treasure to me. Who knows... maybe it is worth some money. I know it is worth a lot to me.



The surface has light damage and when I feel confident enough, I will try to repair it. I have had some experience in art restoration, but not as much as I'd like. A few years ago I spent summers restoring mural damage and I have worked on repairing some prints and paintings. I would love a job in this field.


Here is another Madonna by another Rafael (Sanzio). This is a page from an old encyclopedia set, The National Encyclopedia published by Collier 1950. It is a great source for mixed media projects.