(b. 1483, Urbino, d. 1520, Roma)

The Adoration of the Magi (Oddi altar, predella)

Oil on canvas, 27 x 150 cm
Pinacoteca, Vatican

Extant drawings demonstrate the tremendous amount of thought which Raphael put into the realization of the Oddi Altarpiece and some details, notably the highly individual faces of the Apostles and the serene landscape in the background, are quite masterful. But the most meaningful passages are found in the predella scenes: the vast space which opens out beneath the colonnades of the Annunciation; the highly animated Adoration of the Magi; and the free quality of the atmosphere in the Presentation in the Temple, which foreshadows the extraordinary spatial intuition of some of the artist's future Vatican compositions.