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

Madonna with Beardless St Joseph

Tempera on canvas transferred from wood, 74 x 57 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

This is one of Raphael's version of the Holy Family. Its peculiarity is the beardless representation of the traditionally bearded St Joseph. It can be assumed that this is one of the two paintings, mentioned by Vasari, which were executed in Urbino for Guidobaldo da Montrefeltro.

The way Joseph is depicted in this work, distinctly individual and unusual for the iconography of the saint, gave rise to suggestions that Raphael depicted one of his contemporaries. More likely, however, he was inspired by depictions of old men produced by Leonardo da Vinci.