Thursday, July 26, 2012

Portrait of an Unknown Woman (La Belle Ferroniere)

Completion Date: c.1490
Place of Creation: Milan, Italy
Genre: portrait
Technique: oil
Material: panel
Dimensions: 63 x 45 cm
Gallery: Musée du Louvre, Paris, France
"La belle Ferronnière is also simply known as the Portrait Of An Unknown Woman. The painting's title, applied as early as the seventeenth century, identifying the sitter as the wife or daughter of an ironmonger (a ferronnier), was said to be discreetly alluding to a reputed mistress of Francis I of France, married to a certain Le Ferron. The tale is a romantic legend of revenge where the aggrieved husband intentionally infected himself with syphilis, which he passed to the king through his wife.
Although the model of the painting is still shrouded in mystery, the landmark exhibition "Leonardo Da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan" ( National Gallery of Art in London, 9 Nov 2011- 5 Feb 2012) listed the portrait as possibly depicting Beatrice d'Este, wife of Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan. This challenges the portrait's earlier attribution to Lucrezia Crivelli, a mistress of Ludovico. 
There are so many confusing references as to who this person was. I think they should just leave her be as the title suggests - Portrait Of  An Unknown Woman. " TEXT EXTRACTED FROM:

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