This pigment analysis is based on the work of the scientists at the National Gallery London (1). The results of the investigation have been published in references (1) and (2) and all the microscopic images of cross-sections, the infrared and x-ray images are included in the website of the Raphael Research Project of the National Gallery London (3).
1 Virgin’s dark grey drapery: bluish underpaint of azurite with a little red lake and vermilion and some white. The upper layer consists of red lake, azurite and a larger amount of black.
2 Saint Jerome’s pale greyish lilac robe: azurite, red lake and white.
3 Magdalen’s pink and yellow robe: carmine lake and madder lake combined with lead-tin yellow.
4 Saint John’s deep red cloak: underpaint of vermilion mixed with both carmine (kermes) and madder lake and overpainted with thick layers of the same red lake glaze. The darkest areas contain black.
5 Saint John’s green robe: several layers of verdigris glaze over a solid dark green underlayer containing verdigris, lead-tin yellow and some white.
6 Green and brown landscape: lead-tin yellow mixed with other pigments.
7 Yellow robe of the angel on the right: lead-tin yellow and yellow ochre.
8 yellow sun rays around the sun: orpiment presently rather deteriorated.
9 Sun: gold leaf applied onto red bole (layer of clay as base for applying leaf gold in gilding).
10 Golden inscription above the cross: gold leaf applied on thick orange-brown oil layer (mordant gilding). The mordant contains the strongly drying pigments red lead and verdigris.
11 Dark brown cross: vermilion, black and ochres.
12 Angel’s dark wings and dark ribbons hanging from his waist: verdigris mixed with red lake.
13 Blue sky: natural ultramarine mixed with white painted over with azurite mixed with white.
(1) Roy, A., Spring, M., Plazzotta, C. ‘Raphael’s Early Work in the National Gallery: Paintings before Rome‘. National Gallery Technical Bulletin Vol 25, pp 4–35. Available as pdf.
(2) Marika Spring, Raphael’s Materials: Some New Discoveries and their Context within Early Sixteenth-Century Painting, Eu-ARTECH Raphael Workshop, National Gallery London, 2004. Available as pdf.
(3) The Mond Crucifixion, Raphael, Raphael Research Resource, National Gallery London.
One of Raphael's earliest works, greatly influenced by Perugino, this served as the altarpiece of the side chapel in S. Domenico in Città di Castello, the stone frame of which is dated 1503. As is usual, the Virgin and Saint John the Evangelist stand on either side of the cross. In this case, Saints Jerome and Mary Magdalene also kneel before it. Angels catch Christ's blood in chalices, such as are used for the wine of the Mass. The predella was painted with episodes from the life of Saint Jerome, to whom the altar was dedicated.
The Crucified Christ with the Virgin Mary, Saints and Angels (The Mond Crucifixion)
Medium and support
Oil on poplar
283.3 x 167.3 cm
Mond Bequest, 1924
Location in Gallery