The two expectant mothers of Raphael’s Visitation dominate the pictorial space, showcasing the special graces that have been conferred upon Mary and Elizabeth. Raphael, the most sought-after painter in the world at the time, had just mastered painting in oils when he produced this work, and the innovative technique allowed for softer effects and more natural looking detail. The compositional device of joined hands was a recent innovation, departing from earlier images where Elizabeth either knelt before Mary or embraced her. The background propels the viewer to the Baptism of Christ, when the cousins John and Jesus meet again. John pours water over Christ while above, the skies open to reveal God the Father, borne by angels in a burst of golden rays.