16 August 2016

"Portrait of a Young Woman"

Portrait of a Young Woman is a painting which is commonly believed to be by the Italian Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli, executed between 1480 and 1485. Others attribute authorship to Jacopo da Sellaio. The woman is shown in profile but with her bust turned in three-quarter view to reveal a cameo medallion she is wearing round her neck. The medallion is a copy in reverse of "Nero's Seal", a famous antique carnelian representing Apollo and Marsyas, which belonged to Lorenzo de' Medici.

1 comment:

  1. A beautiful portrait indeed, one of my favorites. It's one of the largest 15th century female portraits (82 x 54 cm). She is wearing a hairstyle that can typically be seen on nymphs. The pearls in her hair and braids can also be linked to the nymphs.

    There is reason to believe the painting is an portrait of Simonetta Vespucci. She was born Simonetta Cattaneo in 1453 or 1454. At age fifteen or sixteen she married Marco Vespucci, a distant relative of the famous explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci. She became a prominent member of the Medici circle. She was considered to be the greatest beauty in Florence. At a jousting tournament in 1475 she was nominated 'regina della bellezza', queen of the beauty, by Giuliano de Medici. She died in 1476, probably from TB. She was buried in the parish church of the Vespuccio; the Church of Ognissanti in Florence. When Botticelli died in 1510 he was buried near her in the same church.


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