Until 1754 one of the most important masterpieces of the Renaissance was hosted in Piacenza, the Madonna Sistina painted by Raffaello between 1512 an 1514 for the benedectine monks of the San Sisto church.
Madonna Sistina by Raffaello
The art piece was painted on canvas not on panel, as Raffaello used to do. It represents the Virgin Mary, Saint Sisto, Saint Barbara and two little cherubs.
In this specific case the figure of Virgin Mary is one of the most impressive ones painted by Raffello. Actually it’s the unique Virgin Mary which was represented in her full lenght figure, almost her natural size; the cherub on the bottom of the painting are the painting most famous detail. They have recently become a pop culture icon.
In 1754, the monks were forced to sell the painting to Augustus III, King of Poland and Elector of Saxony. They sold it for 12.000 sequins. Nowadays it’s the masterpiece of the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister in Dresden, where every year many people go to admire it.
Currently in San Sisto church it’s possible to see a copy of the masterpiece painted in the same year by Avanzini.