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Offline DonaCatalina

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The person behind the portrait
« on: September 23, 2010, 05:21:33 AM »
Has a Renaisance portrait led you to become fascinated or curious about the person? If so, post here and tell us a little about them.

I'll start off with this one. Dona Leonor de Zapata was a Spanish Lady in Waiting to Eleonor of Austria when Jean Clouet did this portrait in red and black chalk.
She later married Don Juan de Moncayo, the Lord of Coscojuela de Fontava, they had one son also named Juan before she died and he married the Marquesa de Moncada.
Her Brother may have been Don Luis de Zapata, Carlos V official biographer, and companion of Felipe II.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2010, 10:22:26 AM by DonaCatalina »
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Offline Welsh Wench

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Re: The person behind the portrait
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2010, 07:57:51 AM »
Wonderful topic, Dona Catlina!



Simonetta Vespucci--considered to be the model for Botticelli.
Best to read about her on Wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simonetta_Vespucci

It looks to be a case of unrequited love.  Botticelli requested to be buried at her feet and the wish was carried out.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2010, 12:12:08 PM by Welsh Wench »
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Offline DonaCatalina

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Re: The person behind the portrait
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2010, 05:52:10 AM »
Thank you for sharing Wenchie. That was someone I'd never heard much about. I hope more people find this thread.
Appropriately enough for this area of the Forum, I'd like to mention Mencia de Mendoza ( Jadraque , Spain , 1508 - 1554 ).
A descendant of the great cardinal Mendoza, Mencía de Mendoza (1508-1554), was the daughter of Rodrigo, first Marques of Zenete and Maria de Fonseca and Toledo. Born in Jadraque, she soon left for Calahorra (Granada) and, later, to Valencia. Like most of her other famed Mendoza cousins, Mencía was educated in a humanist tradition, and was an avid collector of art.
She inheriyed her father's title and became Marques de Zenete. Mencia de Mendoza worked all her life for the dignity of women and the transformation of society through education.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2010, 05:52:48 AM by DonaCatalina »
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Offline Anna Iram

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Re: The person behind the portrait
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2010, 05:43:59 PM »
Is Mencia the lady you modeled  Dona from? You look like her in your avatar. :)

I find myself wondering about portraits with the simple title "Portrait of a Lady" or some other mysterious description.. More often than not it's nearly impossible to discover who they are.

This one is intriguing. It struck me when I first saw it. Such an unvarnished depiction and an odd choice of clothing for a portrait I think.  I'd read something of it being a self portrait of the artist. I wanted to know more about who he was as a man.



From the website below:

"On the frame of the painting Jan van Eyck has written
his own personal motto, which translates to English as “The best I am capable of
doing.”  note, the moto is actually "AlC IXH XAN ("I Do as I Can"), This motto expresses the humanistic spirit of the Renaissance; the
endeavor to produce the most perfect, yet most realistic pieces of art humanly
possible."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_van_Eyck
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portrait_of_a_Man_(Self_Portrait%3F)
http://www.scribd.com/doc/682/Jan-Van-Eyck-and-the-Man-In-A-Red-Turban




« Last Edit: September 26, 2010, 06:29:14 PM by Anna Iram »

Offline bellevivre

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Re: The person behind the portrait
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2010, 06:09:11 PM »
Bia de Medici



She was the illegitimate daughter of Cosimo I, but was raised in her father's court along with his legitimiate children by his wife, Eleanora de Toledo... she apparently died of a fast moving fever, and her grieving father had this portrait comissioned after her death.

it's such a sweet picture, and has always struck me- she has such an openess about her...
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Offline Welsh Wench

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Re: The person behind the portrait
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2010, 06:34:36 PM »
What a beautiful child, Bellevivre!
And thanks for an intelligent topic, Dona. I majored in art and still love it.

Portrait of a Young Woman
, or as it is known in Italy as la Fornarina which means 'bakeress'.

More details on this exquisite painting are here--
http://www.haberarts.com/raphael.htm



Margherita Luti is most probably the model. She was Raphael's mistress. Evidently she was quite a woman. Or at least Raphael thought so.

Most of what we know about Raphael's love life comes from Vasari's vivid biographical account in Lives of the Painters, Sculptors, and Architects (1550-68). Raphael was, Vasari tells us, "a very amorous person, delighting much in women and ever ready to serve them," but never married. According to Vasari, toward the end of his life, when he was trying to complete the frescos in Agostino Chigi's villa in Rome, Raphael grew so obsessed by his girlfriend, Margherita Luti, that he couldn't focus on his work, so he had her installed in one of the villa's rooms where he could visit her whenever he felt the urge. Not long after this, Raphael's rock-starlike lifestyle caught up with him, and he died at age 37 from a fever brought on by too much sex. If we believe Vasari's story, Luti was the ultimate femme fatale.

Raphael was reluctant to tell his doctor what he had been up to and was given the wrong cure which killed him.
Can there be too much of a good thing?
I guess so.

« Last Edit: September 26, 2010, 06:37:29 PM by Welsh Wench »
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Offline Anna Iram

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Re: The person behind the portrait
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2010, 06:42:58 PM »
Bellevivre, your picture of Bia reminds me of another Medici. Maria de Medici. Same lovely face.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Search/Maria_de%27_Medici_(1540%E2%80%931557




In keeping with your theme of half naked women WW... ;D

This intrigues me. Is she dressing or undressing? Who is she? Anyone know how to find out?

Portrait of a Young Woman by Tiziano Vecellio (Titian)








« Last Edit: September 27, 2010, 03:58:53 PM by Anna Iram »

Offline bellevivre

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Re: The person behind the portrait
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2010, 07:10:10 PM »
Bellevivre, your picture of Bia reminds me of another Medici. Maria de Medici. Same lovely face.




In keeping with your theme of half naked women WW... ;D

This intrigues me. Is she dressing or undressing? Who is she? Anyone know how to find out?

http://www.titian-tizianovecellio.org/Portrait-of-a-Young-Woman-1530s.html


actually, her half sister, isabella, apparently was a dead ringer for her, if you'll excuse the pun... those Medici's had some STRONG genes!
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Offline Welsh Wench

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Re: The person behind the portrait
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2010, 08:23:38 PM »
Nudity is not the issue here.
It's art.

While not renaissance art or a portrait, Little Gracie Watson has a story that is poignant.

Gracie's father was the manager of the Pulaski House in Savannah, Georgia. Gracie was their only child. She died of pneumonia in 1889 at the age of six. Her parents were devastated and life would never be the same for them. Her father commissioned a sculpture by a local artist, John Walz, from a photograph he gave him of Gracie.
Gracie has been vandalized in previous years and is now behind a wrought iron fence, fully restored.

If you are ever in Savannah, I highly recommend a visit to Bonaventure Cemetery. Stop by and pay a call on Gracie.
It's very touching.

Now back to renaissance paintings.



« Last Edit: September 27, 2010, 05:44:23 AM by Welsh Wench »
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Offline DonaCatalina

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Re: The person behind the portrait
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2010, 05:10:22 AM »
This one is simply called Potrait of a Florentine Noblewoman by Agnolo Brozino. It was painted during the period when Bronzino was doing portraits almost exclusively for the Medici family. This and the fact that she has a strong resemblamce to Eleonor Alvarez de Toledo has led to some speculation that she is a maternal relative.
Ana Alvarez de Toledo Y Pimental was Eleonor's younger sister, this portrait could very well be her.

« Last Edit: September 27, 2010, 11:20:11 AM by DonaCatalina »
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Offline Anna Iram

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Re: The person behind the portrait
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2010, 08:34:51 AM »
Yep, I can see that:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eleanor_of_Toledo

I admit a *huge* fascination with the Medici and their family tree. A bit off topic, but a few years ago a luxery residence came on the market in Venice. Just down river of the Doge's Palace, and former home to the Medici. How I would love to see that.

Offline Welsh Wench

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Re: The person behind the portrait
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2010, 07:37:36 PM »


Anna Maria Luisa de Medici---there is just too much to post about this fascinating woman.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_Maria_Luisa_de'_Medici

However, an interesting story and true. We were in Florence in the Pitti Palace museum and noticed that quite a few of the male statues had something broken off.
So my friend Mike asked what happened. 
It turns out Anna Maria Luisa was so offended by them that she had them broken off.
Now, my theory is she wasn't offended. It was the equivalent of a castration. I don't know what happened in her life to make her so hostile towards that part of the anatomy. Possibly because it is thought she contracted syphillis from her husband?  But really..couldn't she have used them for a towel hook?
I think somewhere in her dresser drawer she had a collection.

Some people collect tea pots but whatever interests you.... :)
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Offline Anna Iram

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Re: The person behind the portrait
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2010, 08:49:12 PM »
It does look as though she wasn't treated very well by some of her male relatives. Must have been hard to be a strong woman in that family and in those times.

Interesting story about the missing parts, and I'm not saying it isn't so, but I can't help but wonder if Napoleon had anything to do with this. He did occupy the Pitti Palace at one point in time and he certainly was famous for that sort of calling card.

Offline DonaCatalina

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Re: The person behind the portrait
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2010, 05:56:36 AM »
Don Juan de Austria was an illegitimate son of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. He became a military leader in the service of his half-brother, Philip of Spain and is best known for his naval victory at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 against the Ottoman Empire. Don Juan, a handsome blonde man, was not acknowledged until after Carlos V's will was read. He spent the first eleven years of his life being educated as a gentleman's servant. This is the fairy tale of the Little Lost Prince come to life. Ironically enough he formed a lifelong friendship with Alejandro Farnese, Duke of Parma, who's mother was an illegitimate daughter of Carlos V, thus making them uncle and nephew by blood.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2010, 09:27:26 AM by DonaCatalina »
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Offline Welsh Wench

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Re: The person behind the portrait
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2010, 11:46:34 AM »

 
Nell Gwyn rose from orange girl to actress to mistress of Charles II in Restoration England. Known as 'pretty, witty Nell,' her quips were classic.
When her son Charles was six years old, on the arrival of the King, Nell said, "Come here, you little bastard, and say hello to your father."
You have to love this woman!

Charles II bought Salisbury Hall for her in Hertfordshire and is said to be haunted by the laughing ghost of Nell Gwyn. Also a Cavalier who took his own life rather than be captured.

Perhaps he and Nell...?
Naw.... :-\
« Last Edit: September 28, 2010, 11:47:37 AM by Welsh Wench »
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