Saturday, July 28, 2012

Botticelli's La Bella Simonetta

Today´s muse, this young beauty charmed Florentine society. Although she died tragically young at age 22, her allure has been eternalized in the works of Botticelli, who preferred her face above all others. So goddesslike was she, the artist is even said to have modeled his Venus on her. In a final act of romance Botticelli also requested he be buried at her feet, forever to worship her. The very beautiful Simonetta Vespucci inspired the majority of Boticelli´s work.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Dante Alligheri and Beatrice Portiniari

Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) & Beatrice Portinari (1266-1290) 
Picture: Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882) 
Study for The Salutation of Beatrice (1849-1850)
Pen and ink and wash, 14" x 26", Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, MA

Dante and Beatrice first met in Florence when he was nearly nine years old (1274) and she was just turned eight. She was dressed in soft crimson and wore a girdle about her waist. Dante fell in love with her at first sight and thought of her as angelic with divine and noble qualities. He frequented places where he could catch a glimpse of her, but she never spoke to him until nine years later. Then one afternoon (1283) he saw her dressed in white, walking down a street in Florence. Accompanied by two older women, Beatrice turned and greeted him. Her greeting filled him with such joy that he retreated to his room to think about her. Falling asleep, he had a dream that became the subject of the first sonnet in his La Vita Nuova, one of the world's greatest romantic poems. The above Rossetti print depicts scenes from La Vita Nuova III where Beatrice first greeted Dante, and Purgatorio XXX when Beatrice meets Dante in Eden “with a white veil and a wreath of olive (From

Beatrice "Bicedi Folco Portinari (1266–1290)  was a Florentine woman known as the muse of the poetDante Alighieri. Beatrice was the principal inspiration for Dante's Vita Nuova, and also appears as his guide in the Divine Comedy (La Divina Commedia) in the last book, Paradiso, and in the last four canti of Purgatorio. There she takes over as guide from the Latin poetVirgil because, as a pagan, Virgil cannot enter Paradise and because, being the incarnation of beatific love, as her name implies, it is Beatrice Portinari who leads into the Beatific vision.
Scholars have long debated the identity of the historical Beatrice. She was apparently the daughter of the banker Folco Portinari, and was married to another banker, Simone dei Bardi. Dante claims to have met her only twice, each time separated by nine years but was so affected by the meetings that he carried his love for her throughout his life. (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Alessandro Allori and his universe of female portraits

If you wish to learn more about this painter, please, search the next link: you can wonder of the large number of different portraits atributted to Alessandro Allori.:
The image is extracted from the same blog.
 Painting Associated with the Artist or the Worshop of Alessandro Allori (Italian Mannerist Painter, 1535-1607)  Portrait of a Woman 1560
"Alessandro di Cristofano di Lorenzo del Bronzino Allori (31 May 1535 – 22 September 1607) was an Italian portrait painter of the late Mannerist Florentine school.
Born in Florence, in 1540, after the death of his father, he was brought up and trained in art by a close friend, often referred to as his 'uncle', the mannerist painter Agnolo Bronzino, whose name he sometimes assumed in his pictures. In some ways, Allori is the last of the line of prominent Florentine painters, of generally undiluted Tuscan artistic heritage: Andrea del Sarto worked with Fra Bartolomeo (as well as Leonardo da Vinci), Pontormo briefly worked under Andrea, and trained Bronzino, who trained Allori. Subsequent generations in the city would be strongly influenced by the tide of Baroque styles pre-eminent in other parts of Italy."

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:

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Today it begins a serial about "Ladies from Firenze in the Renaissance"

La Bella Principessa by Leonardo da Vinci By , Guide (brief summary)

"This little portrait made big news on October 13, 2009 when Leonardo experts attributed it to the Florentine Master based on forensic evidence.
Previously known as either Young Girl in Profile in Renaissance Dress or Profile of a Young Fiancée, and catalogued as "German School, early 19th Century," the mixed media on vellum drawing, backed with an oak panel, was sold at auction for $22K (US) in 1998, and resold for approximately the same amount in 2007. The buyer was Canadian collector Peter Silverman, who was himself acting on behalf of an anonymous Swiss collector. And then the real fun started because Silverman had bid on this drawing at the 1998 auction suspecting, even then, that it had been misattributed.


The original drawing was executed on vellum using pen and ink, and a combination of black, red and white chalks. The yellow color of the vellum lent itself well to creating skin tones, and combining with carefully applied black and red chalk for green and brown tones, respectively.

Why Is It Now Attributed to Leonardo?

Dr. Nicholas Turner, former Keeper of Prints & Drawings at the British Museum and an acquaintance of Silverman's, brought the drawing to the attention of leading Leonardo experts Drs. Martin Kemp and Carlo Pedretti, among others. The professors felt there was evidence that this was an uncatalogued Leonardo for the following reasons:
  • The age of the vellum.
  • Vellum, a type of parchment made from animal skin, can be carbon-dated. And dating the physical materials in a previously-unknown-but-maybe-it's-a-masterpiece work is the first step taken in an authentication. (It has to be; there is no point in continuing if "Renaissance" materials date to a later period.) In the case of La Bella Principessa, carbon-14 dating placed its vellum between 1450 and 1650. Leonardo lived from 1452 to 1519.
  • The artist was left-handed.
  • If you look at the larger view of the image above (click, and it will open in a new window), you'll see a series of light ink parallel hatching lines from the nose to the top of the forehead. Note the negative slope: \\\\. This is how a left-handed person draws. A right-handed person would have inked the lines thus: ////.
    Now, which other artist, during the Italian Renaissance, drew in the style of Leonardo and was left-handed? None are known.
  • The perspective is flawless.
  • Perspective being a forte of Leonardo's. He had been studying mathematics all of his life, after all.
  • The knots on the shoulder of the sitter's dress and the braiding in her headdress are executed with Leonardesque precision.
  • See above. Leonardo's particular mathematical passion was geometry. In fact, he would go on to become fast friends with Fra. Luca Pacioli (Italian, 1445-1517) and create drawings of Platonic Solids for the latter's De Divina Proportione (written in Milan; 1496-98, published in Venice, 1509). Just for curiosity's sake, feel free to compare the knots in La Bella Principessa tothis etching.
  • It is Tuscan in overall style, though finishing details are Milanese.
  • One of those finishing details is the sitter's hairstyle. Take a careful look at the pony tail (which actually rather resembles a polo pony's, after it has been gathered and taped in preparation for a match). This style was introduced to Milan by Beatrice d’Este (1475-1497), Ludovico Sforza's bride. Called a coazzone, it featured a bound braid (either real or false, as in a 15th-century hair extension) that ran down the center of the back. The coazzone was in fashion only a few years, and only at court. Whatever the Principessa's identity, she moved in the upper echelon of Milanese society.
  • Leonardo had been quizzing a traveling French artist about the use of colored chalk on vellum at the time.
  • It is important to point out here that no one used colored chalk on vellum during the early Renaissance, so this is a sticking point. Whoever created this drawing was conducting an experiment. Perhaps not on the scale of, say, painting a huge mural in tempera on a wall covered with pitch, mastic and gesso -- incidentally, also in Milan -- but, well. You can doubtless guess where this train of thought is going.
However, "new" Leonardos demand conclusive proof. To this end, the drawing was sent to the Lumiere Technology lab for advanced multispectral scanning. Lo, a fingerprint emerged that was "highly comparable" to a fingerprint on Leonardo's St Jerome (ca. 1481-82), notably executed at a time that the artist worked alone. A further partial palm print was later detected.
Neither of these prints were proof, though. Additionally, nearly everything listed above, save for the date of the vellum, is circumstantial evidence. The identity of the model remained unknown and, furthermore, this drawing was never listed in any inventory: not Milanese, not of Ludovico Sforza's, and not of Leonardo's."

"The young sitter is presently presumed by experts to be a member of the Sforza family, although neither the Sforza colors nor symbols are evident. Knowing this, and using the process of elimination, she is most likely Bianca Sforza (1482-1496; daughter of Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan [1452-1508], and his mistress Bernardina de Corradis). Bianca had been married by proxy in 1489 to a distant relative of her father's but, because she was seven years old at the time, remained in Milan until 1496.
Even if one were to assume that this portrait depicts Bianca at age seven -- which is doubtful -- the headdress and bound hair would be appropriate for a married female.
Her cousin Bianca Maria Sforza (1472-1510; daughter of Galeazzo Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan [1444-1476], and his second wife, Bona of Savoy) was previously considered as a possibility. Bianca Maria was older, legitimate and became Holy Roman Empress in 1494 as the second wife of Maximilian I. Be that as it may, a portrait of her by Ambrogio de Predis (Italian, Milanese, ca. 1455-1508) done in 1493 does not resemble the model for La Bella Principessa." 

Monday, July 23, 2012


ALL MY LOVING -The Beatles
Close your eyes and I'll kiss you,
Tomorrow I'll miss you; Remember I'll always be true. And then while I'm away, I'll write home ev'ry day, And I'll send all my loving to you.  I'll pretend That I'm kissing the lips I am missing And hope that my dreams will come true. And then while I'm away, I'll write home ev'ry day, And I'll send all my loving to you.   All my loving I will send to you. All my loving, darling I'll be true.  Close your eyes and I'll kiss you, Tomorrow I'll miss you: Remember I'll always be true. And then while I'm away, I'll write home ev'ry day, And I'll send all my loving to you  All my loving I will send to you. All my loving darling I'll be True. All my loving All my loving ooh All my loving I will send to you
Image extracted from:
Meet you downstairs in the bar and heardYour rolled up sleeves in your skull T-shirtYou say, "What did you do with him today?"And sniffed me out like I was Tanqueray
'Cause you're my fella, my guyHand me your Stella and flyBy the time I'm out the doorYou tear men down like Roger Moore I cheated myselfLike I knew I wouldI told you, I was troubleYou know that I'm no good Upstairs in bed with my ex-boyHe's in a place but I can't get joyThinking on you in the final throesThis is when my buzzer goes Run out to meet you, chips and pittaYou say, "When we married", 'cause you're not bitterThere'll be none of him no moreI cried for you on the kitchen floor I cheated myselfLike I knew I wouldI told you, I was troubleYou know that I'm no good Sweet reunion Jamaica and SpainWe're like how we were againI'm in the tub, you on the seatLick your lips as a I soak my feet And then you notice likkle carpet burnsMy stomach drop and my guts churnYou shrug and it's the worstWho truly stuck the knife in first I cheated myselfLike I knew I wouldI told you, I was troubleYou know that I'm no good I cheated myselfLike I knew I wouldI told you, I was troubleYeah, you know that I'm no good