Gregory G. H. Rihn (milwaukeesfs) wrote,
Gregory G. H. Rihn
milwaukeesfs

Milwaukee Art Museum: "The Woman With the Veil"

On May 1st, we went to the Milwaukee Art Museum to see the exhibition of
"The Woman With the Veil" (La Donna Velata), a Renaissance portrait by
Raphael (Raphael Sanzio). This is possibly the second most famous
portrait of the period after DaVinci's "Mona Lisa", and for my tastes, a
more beautiful one. Painted by Raphael supposedly as a response to
DaVinci, it shows a very different aesthetic. The color pallet, although
limited, is warm and glowing both in the model's skin tones and her
satin gown, quite distinct from the somber "Mona Lisa". The poses are
both similar, but Raphael's model touches the breast of her outfit with
one hand, rather than having both modestly in her lap, which seems
somehow more spontaneous and intimate. Time has preserved the color of
her lips and cheeks, and the shadows at her eyes. It may be an artifact
of the paints used at the time, but "Mona Lisa" seems colorless by
contrast.
Unlike its exhibition of DaVinci's "Lady with an Ermine," the Milwaukee
Art Museum has not arranged an entire show around this piece, instead
setting it off in a room to itself, with a nice presentation on the
history of the artist and what is known or surmised about the work and
its model. The painting is on loan from the Pitti Palace in Florence
and rarely travels, so we felt we were privileged to see it in real
life. "The Woman with the Veil" will be on exhibit at the Milwaukee Art
Museum until June 6.
http://www.mam.org/exhibitions/details/raphael.php
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