Marriage of the Virgin

Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker provide a description, historical perspective, and analysis of Raphael’s Marriage of the Virgin.

Raphael, Marriage of the Virgin, 1504, oil on panel, 174 × 121 cm / 69 in × 48 inches (Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan)

This canvas was commissioned from Raphael when the artists was 21 years old. It was created for the chapel of Saint Joseph in the church of San Francesco, Città di Castello in northern Umbria and paid for by the Albizzini family. In 1798, the painting was taken by the Napoleonic officer Lechi, who promptly sold it in Milan. The painting was then given to a hospital there in 1804. It has been at the Brera since 1806. See below for a brief video on the photographic documentation during the most recent conservation of the painting: