Like the terms of a very personal vocabulary, free from elaborate details but faithful to reality, the jewellery of Elisabetta Gonzaga, Maddalena Doni and the Woman with the Veil transports us fluidly back into the elegance of the Renaissance without pedantic insistence. The Renaissance humanist lapidary culture shared by Raphael, the jewellers and the sophisticated customers they had in common, enabled the artist to transform those jewels, which would otherwise have remained lifeless costume embellishments, into talking accessories, the words of an erudite language that is capable of subtly yet clearly describing the fears, desires and plans of their wearers in his paintings.

Raffaello, Ritratto di Elisabetta Gonzaga, 1500-1506, Firenze, Gallerie degli Uffizi.Raffaello, Ritratto di Maddalena Doni, 1505-1506, Firenze, Gallerie degli Uffizi.Raffaello, La Velata, 1512-1516, Firenze, Gallerie degli Uffizi.

Silvia Malaguzzi
Silvia Malaguzzi, Raffaello e i gioielli alle Gallerie degli Uffizi: Elisabetta Gonzaga, Maddalena Doni e la Velata, in “Imagines”, n. 4, maggio 2020, pp. 54-75