Niccolini-Cowper Madonna

Niccolini-Cowper Madonna
Niccolini-Cowper Madonna
Artist Raphael
Year 1508
Type Oil on panel
Dimensions 80.7 cm × 57.5 cm (31.8 in × 22.6 in)
Location National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

The Niccolini-Cowper Madonna, also known as the Large Cowper Madonna,[1] is a painting by the Italian High Renaissance artist Raphael, depicting Mary and Child, against a blue sky.


The painting

The painting may have been the last of Raphael's Florentine paintings before he left for Rome. It is more complex than a similar painting the Small Cowper Madonna of a few years earlier. The Virgin and Child fill the canvas, creating an imposing effect. The two are more closely related, both by positioning of their bodies and their intimacy. Raphael may have derived the talent for creating a natural intimacy through Leonardo da Vinci.[2] The portrayal of the infant's energy is reminiscent of works of Michaelangelo. [2] The compelling, playful Child reaches for the Madonna's top as if wanting to nurse.[2] Both paintings bear the name of their former owners.[2]

An inscription on the painting, center right on the border of Madonna's bodice: MDVIII.R.V.PIN tells that it was painted in 1508 by Raphael of Urbino.[3]



Venus with a Satyr and Cupids by Annibale Carracci Raphael, Madonna della Sedia (Madonna of the Chair), c.1514 Guido Reni, Charity, 1607 Raphael, St John the Baptist Reni, Madonna Madonna della seggiola Correggio, Madonna and Child Justus Sustermans, Galileo Raphael, Madonna of the Goldfinch Franciabigio - Madonna of the Well Guido Reni, Cleopatra, 1635–40 Holy Family, then attributed to Perugino Rubens, Justus Lipsius with his Pupils, c.1615 Portrait of Leo X with two Cardinals by Raphael Tribute Money? by Carravagio? Rubens, Justus Lipsius with his Pupils, c.1615 Raphael, Pope Leo X with Cardinals Giulio de’ Medici and Luigi de’ Rossi, 1518 Niccolini-Cowper Madonna by Raphael Large central painting Holbein, Sir Richard Southwell, 1536 Cristofano Allori, Miracle of St Julian Holy Family, attributed to Niccolò Soggi ummm Raphael, Niccolini-Cowper Madonna, 1508, then in Lord Cowper’s possession, having bought it from Zoffany, now National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC Titian, Venus of Urbino, 1538 Cupid and Psyche, Roman copy of a Greek original of the 1st or 2nd century BC The ‘Arrotino’ (Knife-Grinder), a Pergamene original of 2nd or 3rd century BC Dancing Faun, marble replica of a bronze of the circle of Praxiteles, 4th century BC The Infant Hercules Strangling the Serpents The Wrestlers, marble copy of a bronze Permamene original, 2nd or 3rd century BC South Indian crater Etruscan helmet Chimera - Etruscan art 8 Oil lamps Egyptian ptahmose, 18th dynasty Greek bronze torso Bust of Julius Caeser Roman silver shield Head of Antinous South Italian crater Etruscan jug Octagonal table with pietra dura top made for the Tribuna, designed by Jacopo Ligozzi and Bernardino Poccetti. Charles Loraine Smith (1751–1835) Richard Edgcumbe, later 2nd Earl of Mount Edgcumbe (1764–1839) George, 3rd Earl Cowper (1738–89) Sir John Dick (1720–1804), British Consul at Leghorn Other Windsor, 6th Earl of Plymouth (1751–99) Johann Zoffany Mr Stevenson, companion to the Lord Lewisham George Legge, Lord Lewisham, later 3rd Earl of Dartmouth (1755–1810) unknown young man Valentine Knightley of Fawsley (1744–96) Pietro Bastianelli, the custodian of the gallery Mr Gordon Hon. Felton Hervey (1712–73 Thomas Patch Sir John Taylor Bt., (d. 1786) Sir Horace Mann (1706–86), British Consul in Florence George Finch, 9th Earl of Winchilsea prob. Roger Wilbraham (1743-1829) Mr Watts Mr Doughty, travelling with Charles Loraine Smith Probably Thomas Wilbraham (b. 1751), brother of Roger The Medici Venus, Roman copy of a Greek original of the 2nd century BC James Bruce (1730–94), African explorer Use a cursor to explore or press button for larger image & copyright
Cursor can be used to find the painting as Johann Zoffany attempts to sell it to George Clavering-Cowper, 3rd Earl Cowper.

Cowper's art collection absorbed a great deal of his time and money. His most notable possessions are probably the two Cowper Madonna paintings Raphael: Small Cowper Madonna and this painting, the Niccolini-Cowper Madonna. Tribuna of the Uffizi shows Cowper looking at the Niccolini-Cowper Madonna painting as it is offered by Johann Zoffany. Zoffany had purchased the painting from the Niccolini family in 1782 and sold it to Cowper in 1785.[4]


  1. ^ a b Brown, D; Van Nimmen, J (2005). Raphael & The Beautiful Banker: The Story of the Bindo Altoviti Portrait. With the assistance of The Getty Foundation. p. 225. ISBN 0-300-10824-9. 
  2. ^ "The Niccolini-Cowper Madonna, Inscription". Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.. 2011. Retrieved March 15, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "The Niccolini-Cowper Madonna, Provenance". National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. Retrieved March 15,2011. 
  4. ^ Samuels, E; Samuels, Jayne (1987). Bernard Berenson, The Making of a Legend. p. 101, 364. ISBN 0-674-06779-7. 

External links

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