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Raphael uses a technique known as diminution of scale as well as atmospheric perspective to indicate that the building in the window is far away. Using diminution of scale makes far-away objects appear smaller than objects that the painter wants to convey are closer to the viewer. In using atmospheric perspective, Raphael makes the background less clear, creating the illusion of distance. The use of these techniques is important because it makes the painting look more realistic overall.

Raphael’s Madonna of the Carnation is an oil painting. This can be deduced from several characteristics. First, the colors are more muted as opposed to the bright bold colors used in tempura style paintings. Second, the paint is evenly blended, which allows the artist to create a more textured effect that can be seen both in the folds of the fabric on their clothing, in their hair, and in the nature scene through the window.

Raphael successfully uses chiaroscuro to draw the viewer’s eyes to the Virgin and child. By contrasting the brightness of the two figures against the intensely dark background, this creates an emphasis on the both figures. The light falling across the Virgin’s face and illuminating her and her child conveys a sense of warmth and joy. The use of chiaroscuro also creates spatial depth, overall making the painting look more three-dimensional.

Raphael uses the technique of foreshortening to create the image that Christ’s foot is pointing towards the viewer, overall creating the illusion of three-dimensionality. This is important because it requires intense mathematical skill in addition to a masterful painting technique. This is representative of Renaissance humanism and a focused attention on realistic detail instead of idealized non-realistic figures.

Another compositional element of this painting is the pyramidal structure of the two forms of the Virgin and Child that was typical in this era of art. This technique creates a sense of stability and draws the viewer’s eyes to the center of the painting, focusing on the two figures. The stable structure makes the painting appear more aesthetically pleasing to the viewer. This structure is also a result of the increased emphasis on using correct mathematic proportions in painting.