(b. 1483, Urbino, d. 1520, Roma)
The Sistine Madonna (detail)1513-14
Oil on canvas
The most famous angels of our days seem to be the two winged putti below Raphael's Sistine Madonna. They are almost half a millennium old. Their continuing success and present popularity are hard to explain. They combine the sacred with the profane, childish mischievousness with high art. They are easily reproducible and media-friendly. And they have in turn inspired similar angel pairs.