The spirit of humanism prevailed during the Renaissance Period. People began to reconsider the value of human beings and express their true feelings and ideas. Living in a wave of reform movement, Rafaela paintings were more human than previous paintings. Rafaela's figure types were his own creation, with round, gentle faces to induce a calm and happy mood in the viewer.
La Belle Jardinière, displayed the Louvre in Paris, has been regarded as a prime example of Rafaela Sanzio's works during the Renaissance Period. In this painting, Virgin Mary was sitting and taking care of two children -- Jesus and St John. Jesus was standing beside his mother, with his hand in her hand, smiling gently at her. On the other side, there is St John snuggling on Mary's lap and looking gently at Jesus. From Virgin Mary's expression and children's posture, we can clearly feel the quietness and peace of this painting.
Furthermore, the scenery in distance adds the feeling of harmony to this painting. A few deep green hills, a calm river, fertile farmland and several slender trees constitute a fine distant view. In the meanwhile, the near view, including several clusters of white clouds and flowers on the ground, also makes this painting more peaceful and lively. Throughout the whole painting, lines are not too straight or rigid and angles are not too sharp. On the contrary, they are soft and round, which is the foundation of harmony. Since the romanticism prevailed, landscape became expression of the mood of human, but in Rafaela's painting, landscape serves as a tool to foil the harmony of the painting.
The composition is also attractive. Three figures comprise a triangle, like a pyramid, which pulls people's attention to Virgin Mary. She is the main character. Using this method of composition not only creates a unity perception of the whole scene, but also makes people feel that all figures are standing on a stable basis.
By means of describing the beautiful image of a gardener, Rafaela intended to sing the praises of Virgin Mary because of her greatness, graciousness and love towards the secular world. Apart from thick family affection, La Belle Jardinière also shows the painter's enthusiasm to life.