Portrait of Leo X (Raphael)
|Portrait of Pope Leo X|
|Medium||Oil on wood|
|Dimensions||154 cm × 119 cm (61 in × 47 in)|
In contrast to works depicting classical, idealised Madonnas and figures from antiquity, this portrait shows the sitter in a realistic manner. The Pope is depicted with the weight of late middle age, while his sight appears to be strained. The painting sets up a series of visual contradictions between appearance and reality, intended by Raphael to reflect the unrest of a period of turmoil for the papacy. Martin Luther had recently challenged papal authority, listing among other grievances, Leo X's method of selling indulgences to fund work on St Peter's.