(b. 1483, Urbino, d. 1520, Roma)
The Holy Family, or La Perlac. 1518
Oil on wood, 147 x 116 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid
This painting, which the literature today tends to ascribe to Giulio Romano rather than Raphael, shows the Madonna in the foreground casting an affectionate eye on the young Christ Child and St John the Baptist, who play in front of her. With one hand she makes a reassuring gesture toward her own mather, St Anne, who is represented in a meditative position. St Joseph sits in the background to the left under the shelter of several ruined classical buildings. On the right there is a serene landscape illuminated by touches of pinkish light.
The painting was in the collection of Philip IV of Spain who gave the picture its nickname, La Perla, because he considered it the "pearl" of his collection.