Christmas, a Painting, and My Husband

Christmas, a Painting, and My Husband

At Christmastime, when I think of my late husband Charles I often think about the painting, The Madonna of the Chair, c. 1514, by Italian renaissance artist Raphael (1483-1520).

One of the most famous Madonna paintings, this work depicts Mary embracing the child Christ, while the young John the Baptist looks on.  A reproduction of the painting and ornate frame hung over the fireplace in the meeting room of the Cromaine Library in Hartland, Michigan where I first met Charles in person. That day we sat in front of the painting and conversed for over an hour.

Two years later on a trip to Italy we stood in front of the original Madonna of the Chair aka Madonna della seggiola (sedia) at the Palazzo Pitti, Palatine Gallery in Florence. Seeing the original painting with Charles was a magnificent experience – the details and colors of the embroidered shawl and elegantly turned chair were amazing. 



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