Madonna and Child by Raphael
Froebel's favorite work
A framed color print of this painting by Raphael was reported to be Froebel's favorite work hanging at the Jagdschloe▀chen (Little Hunting Palace) in Marienthal. It had been given to him as a gift during a festival in 1852 , arranged by his follower and wonderful friend Herr Middendorf, "almost as a kind of Apotheosis of Froebel, ere the latter goes beyond." (Snider THE LIFE OF FROEBEL. Chicago: Sigma, 1900) "When somebody said that Middendorf was a St. John in character" Langenthal answered," Yes, so he is, and Froebel was his Christ."
Notice also that Christ and His Mother are surrounded by Sts. Peter and Paul (trusted apostles, to whom we could attribute Langenthal and Middendorf) and the virginal and martyred Sts. Cecilia and Catherine (in whom we could see Froebel's second wife and almost 40 years his junior, Luise Levin Froebel, and the Baroness Bertha von Marenholtz-Buelow, who had willingly pledged an almost societal martyrdom upon herself for refusing to renounce her Froebel, her mentor and teacher, in the face of Condemnation by the Prussian Government which had just errantly called Kindergarten atheistic and socialistic, and condemned and banned it within the Kingdom). Cecilia is also the patroness of song, and we must remember that Froebel many times reminded his followers that all activities should be accompanied by song, and that one should learn ones native language first in song, as the Greeks did by reciting Homer.
"He (Raphael) was commissioned by the nuns of St Anthony of Padua to paint a panel picture of Our Lady with Jesus Christ sitting on her lap and (as pleased those simple, holy women) fully clothed, and with St Peter, St Paul, St Cecilia and St Catherine on either side of the Madonna. Raphael depicted the two saintly virgins with the most wonderfully varied head-dresses anywhere to be seen." I-288 Pala Colonna (San Antonio Madonna) "