Flaneur’s Gallery: Lady With An Ermine

Leonardo da Vinci. Lady with an Ermine (Portrait of Cecilia Gallerani). 1489-1490. Czartoryski Museum, Kraków. [Source: Wikimedia Comons]

… Can sua picture
La fa che par che ascolti e non favella.

“’By his art he makes her look as if she’s listening, and not talking.” So says an Italian sonnet of the time when Leonardo painted the portrait of  Cecilia Gallerani. The poem by Bernardo Bellincioni is believed to be the earliest literary description of da Vinci’s art. Cecilia was the 17-year-old mistress of Ludovico Sforza, Leonardo’s Milanese patron.

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