Madonna and Child with Book
c. 1502-03
Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio) (Italian, 1483-1520)
On View

In this painting, the balanced, serene figures are described simply and naturally. A lucid geometry organizes the composition, from the pyramidal grouping of the Madonna and Child to the geometric idealization of their faces and bodies. The deep, blue arch of the Madonna's silhouette encloses the figure of the Child and frames the book, which is further emphasized by the touching hands that hold it. The inscription in the book introduces the ninth hour, or Nones of the Canonical Offices, recited daily by all monastic communities. The Nones commemorates Christ's Crucifixion and Death. With eyes turned to heaven, the Christ Child contemplates His own sacrifice as man's Redeemer. Raphael has depicted more than just a beautiful image of the Madonna and Child -- he has created a meditation piece. The profoundly spiritual quality achieved by Raphael explains why his Madonnas were in such high demand.


  • Artist Name: Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio) (Italian, 1483-1520)
  • Title: Madonna and Child with Book
  • Date: c. 1502-03
  • Medium: Oil on panel
  • Dimensions: 21-3/4 x 15-3/4 in. (55.2 x 40 cm)
  • Credit Line: Norton Simon Art Foundation
  • Accession Number: M.1972.2.P
  • Copyright: © Norton Simon Art Foundation

Object Information

Thomas Townend (Christie’s, London, 14 July 1883, lot 75, as Francia, bought-in);
Colonel John Bullen-Symes Bullen (b. 1847) and Mrs. Blanch Mary Bullen (d. 1886, née Townend, younger daughter of William Hall, Syndale, Kent), Catherston-Leweston, and Marshwood Manor, Dorsetshire, by descent to;
Elizabeth Townend (Mrs. Charles) Wheler, Syndale, Kent (d. 1912), by descent to;
John Hall, Syndale, Kent, by descent to;
Heirs of John Hall, Syndale Kent, to;
[Marshall Spink, London];
[Wildenstein & Co., London, via Spink, by June, 1952, sold 1972 to];
Norton Simon Art Foundation.

[on loan]

  • New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1973-06-22 to 1973-08
  • Boskovitis, Miklos, Brown, David Alan, et al., Italian Paintings of the Fifteenth Century, p. 564
  • Pope-Hennessy, John, Raphael: The Wrightsman Lecture delivered under the auspices of the New York University Institute of Fine Arts,fig. 158 pp. 177-178, 180-181
  • Passavant, Günter, Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorischen Institutes in Florenz,fig. 7 pp. 194-195, 218, 222
  • The Museums of the World, p. 26
  • Buren, Anne H. van, Art Bulletin, p. 464
  • Miller, M., Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art,fig. 4 p. 332
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, Spring 2006,2006, Fig. 14 11-12
  • Düssler, Luitpold, Raphael: A Critical Catalogue of his Pictures, Wall-Paintings and Tapestries,pl. 18 p. 7
  • Gould, Cecil, Apollo,no. 254 p. 288
  • Capellen, Jürg Meyer zur, Raphael: A Critical Catalogue of His Paintings, Volume I, The Beginnings in Umbria and Florence, ca. 1500-1508, pp. 25, 29, 40, 73, 144-150
  • Rizzatti, Maria Luisa, I geni dell' arte: Raffaello, pp. 34, 90
  • Capellen, J. M. Z., Raphael in Florence,figs. 87, 92 pp. 148, 151, 153
  • Antonio Paolucci, Raffaello,2016, pg.# 15, pg.# 16,pg.# 359
  • Princeton Alumni Weekly, p. 8, cover
  • Brown, David Alan, Raphael and America,n. 72, fig. 12 pp.29, 98
  • Dyrness, William, Visual Faith: Art, Theology and Worship in Dialogue,fig. 15 p. 48
  • Morse, John D., Old Master Paintings in North America,1979, p. 225
  • Catalogue of paintings, 13th-18th centuries: Picture Gallery, Staatliche Museen Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin,no. 144
  • Frederickson, Burton B., The Princeton Raphael Symposium: Science in the Service of Art History,pls. 292-294 pp. 99, 104-105
  • Steadman, David, University: A Princeton Quarterly,no. 57 p. 7
  • Renato Miracco, Italian Treasures in the U.S. An Itinerary of Art,2014, p. #41
  • Joannides, Paul, The Drawings of Raphael, With a Complete Catalogue,nos. 32-35
  • De Vecchi, Pierluigi, Raphael,no. 48
  • Berenson, Bernhard, Italian Pictures of the Renaissance, Central and North Italian Schools,vol. I, p. 355; vol. III, pl. 1174 p. 355
  • Kelber, Wilhelm, Raphael von Urbino: Leben und Werk,no. 14
  • Wagner, Christopher, Farbe und Metapher: Die Entstehung einer neuzeitlichen Bildmetaphorik in der verrömischen Malerei Rahpaels,pl. 13 pp. 180-183, 187, 189, 196, 221, 222, 442, 517
  • Art Journal, p. 312
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Masterworks from the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lille,1992, Figure 1 p. 207
  • Jones, Roger; and Nicholas Penny, Raphael,n. 52 pp. 17, 250
  • Shogakukan, Sekai Bijutsukan no Tabi (Travels of World Museums), p. 320
  • Fischel, Oskar, Raphaels Zeichnungen,no. 49 n. 1
  • de Vecchi, Pier Luigi, Rafaello, la Pittura,no. 9 p. 239
  • Oberhuber, Konrad, Raphael: The Paintings,no. 20, pl. 21 pp. 32, 250
  • Beck, James H., Raphael,fig. 8 p. 16
  • Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best,2010, cat. 885 p. 348
  • Quednau, Rold, Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte,fig. 3 pp. 130-131, 134
  • Chapman, Hugo; Tom Henry and Carol Plazzota, Raphael from Urbino to Rome,fig. 10 pp. 27, 94, 132, 144
  • Fischel, Oskar, Raphael, p. 357
  • Cuzin, Jean-Pierre, Raphaël: Vie et oeuvre,fig. 14
  • Masterpieces from the Norton Simon Museum,1989, p. 25
  • Buren, Anne H. van, Art Bulletin,figs. 1, 2, 26 pp. 41-52
  • Pfisterer, Ulrich, Raffael - Faith. Love. Glory,2019, abb. 23 p. 44 ; p. 45 (ill.)
  • Brejon de Lavergnée, Barbara, Renaissance et Baroque: Dessins Italiens du Musée de Lille, p. 43
Audio Tour
English | Español
Audio Tour Transcript
English | Español
English | Español
Transcripción de Audioguía
English | Español

Image reproduction permission may be granted for scholarly or arts related commercial use. All image requests, regardless of their intended purpose, should be submitted via the reproduction request form.

Images may be protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights. Additional permission may be required.

Approved requests for the reproduction of an image will receive a contract detailing all fees and conditions of use of the image. Upon receipt of both the signed contract and full payment, the Office of Rights and Reproductions will provide the image. A complimentary copy of the published material must be provided to the Norton Simon Museum.

Reproduction Request Form