Raphael© Photographic Archive Museo Nacional del Prado 301
This masterpiece, which manages to be both rustic and refined, was the collection’s most expensive picture, valued at £2000. It is known as La Perla because a later owner, Philip V of Spain, considered it to be “the pearl” of his collection.
La Perla’s attribution has been a subject of debate among later scholars but it is at present given to Raphael. The work came from the Mantua sale, along with the two following works by Correggio which adorn this venerable wall.