Pope Leo X with Cardinals Giulio de’ Medici and Luigi de’ Rossi
Date ca. 1517
Movement High Renaissance
Medium Oil on panel
Dimensions 60.5 x 47″
Housed at Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence
This work was commissioned by Julius II’s successor, Pope Leo X, to serve as a stand-in at extended Medici family gatherings in Florence. Raphael has painted the scene with a strong sense of naturalism, and clearly included Leo X’s heavy-set jowls.
Recalling the Netherlandish style, Raphael attributes the source light in this painting to a nearby window (see the reflection in the ball finial of the chair’s back) and it is this light that softly highlights the exquisite textures of the rich garments and the skin of the figures; this emphasis on the sensuality of the scene fits perfectly – clearly Leo X wished to be represented here as a connoisseur, one who enjoys fine works and items.