Market Square > Renaissance Art

The person behind the portrait

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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.

Welsh Wench:
Wonderful topic, Dona Catlina!

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

It looks to be a case of unrequited love.  Botticelli requested to be buried at her feet and the wish was carried out.

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.

Anna Iram:
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

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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