The Alba Madonna, 1509 (oil on panel), Raphael (1483-1520), National Gallery of Art, Washington DC. Image courtesy of the NGA Open Access.
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2
This painting from the High Renaissance shows a perfection of composition and form that is unsurpassed. The colors, setting and expressions are so gentle…so pleasing. One of the easy clues to any painting is to notice the direction of the eyes of each figure in the scene. So here notice how the baby Jesus is reaching out to take the cross. He is accepting his future, and in this same moment his cousin John and mother Mary are seeing him accept his future. Mary is wrapped in a royal blue robe that symbolizes this baby is Heaven sent. The divine became human for the love of our souls.
Take this image into your heart and let the knowledge of it shine through you as you worship our Lord today.