The de Brécy Tondo and it's relationship with Raphael's Sistine Madonna
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Press Photographs

High-resolution images of the Tondo for use in printed materials can be downloaded below in both JPEG and TIFF formats. The picture comes from a digitally developed photograph of the Tondo post-conservation.

Image is free for Press use. Copyright - please credit DeBrécy Trust.


Tondo - JPEG


tondo - TIFF for PC


Tondo - TIFF for MAC

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42.4 Mb 3852x3852 pixels

42.4 Mb 3852x3852 pixels

Photograph 1 of Professor Howell Edwards Photograph 2 of Professor Howell Edwards

Above: Professor Howell Edwards from the University of Bradford with the Raman Microscope

Original Paper

The de Brécy Madonna and Child tondo painting: a Raman spectroscopic analysis

Howell G. M. Edwards [1] and Timothy J. Benoy [2]

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Raman spectra have been obtained from a Madonna and Child tondo painting, known as the de Brécy Tondo. Despite the provision of only a small number of microscopic samples, definitive spectra were obtained from mineral pigments. From one specimen, spectra of an organic binder enabled the consideration of several possibilities to be accomplished and a suggestion proposed for the medium. In another specimen the identification of the spectral signatures of Prussian blue, which was only synthesised some 200 years after the predicated date of execution of the painting, indicated that some unrecorded restoration had been undertaken later in the painting’s history. Research* carried out on this tondo from 1987 to 1991 indicated the probability that it is the work of Raphael, a conclusion supported by further research recently undertaken on the provenance. The stylistic similarity of the tondo to Raphael’s Sistine Madonna is very clear; the pigments identified in this analysis are consistent with a Renaissance attribution for the de Brécy Tondo.

Keywords Raphael - Raman spectroscopy - Renaissance art - Madonna - Pigments - Tondo painting

[1] Molecular Spectroscopy Group, University Analytical Centre & Chemical and Forensic Sciences, University of Bradford, Norcroft Building, Bradford, BD7 1DP, UK. Email

[2] The de Brécy Trust, de Brécy House, Lower Withington, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK11 9DF, UK. Email

* Dr Murdoch Lothian, The Methods Employed to Provenance and to Attribute Putative Works by Raphael, Ph.D. Thesis, 1991.

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