Raphael (Raffaello Santi)

The Holy Family with a Palm Tree

About this artwork

The tondo (circular painting) was popular in Renaissance Florence for private apartments. Raphael has carefully planned his composition to complement the shape, with the Christ Child at its centre, and created a supremely harmonised and balanced relationship between the three figures. This is one of several variations on the theme of the Virgin and Child and the Holy Family that Raphael explored during his four years in Florence. The palm tree, flowers and fountain or well-head may be inspired by references in special devotions (litanies) to the Virgin Mary, which would be appropriate for a private devotional picture.

Raphael (Raffaello Santi)

Raphael (Raffaello Santi)