Saturday, 29 September 2018

Portrait of Giovanna Tornabuoni (1488)




The Latin on the wall behind this woman translates as 'Would that art could portray her character and virtue.  No painting in the world would be more beautiful'. This is part of a poem by Martial.

This woman's profile is truly beautiful (although nit pickers might feel her neck is not quite as slender as some)

The tones of her gown complement her skin perfectly.

Sadly the sitter died within a year of this being painted,  in childbirth, which was so dangerous back in olden times.

This artist was not familiar to me but he was important – one of his students was Michelangelo. His name was Domenico Ghirlandaio (1449-1494)

My attention was drawn to this work by a huge doorstop of a book I got from the library – The Art Book from Phaidon Press.  Get it out if you have strong enough muscles.   There are 579 pages, each dedicated to one work by an artist.  The artists are in alpha order so you get interesting juxtapositions between modern art and old masters.

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