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Cecilia Gallerani - Leonardo da Vinci


It's been awhile since I've done an art post, when I'm in the middle of uni I get a bit sick of writing about it in essays that I just can't be bothered doing a post about it. I'd either have to be in the mood or be inspired by a painting.  During last weeks lecture when we were introduced into Milan I was inspired by a painting that I had studied before in high school so I was excited to see it pop up.
Lady with the Ermine, Leonardo da Vinci, c. 1489-90
When I first studied this painting she was nameless but on Friday I learnt her name was Cecilia Gallerani and she was the mistress of Ludovico Sforza, the Duke of Milan.  She was from a well connected family, was smart and a musician.  She has on two veils, her hair is pulled back and is holding an ermine with her hands being very prominent.  Her clothes are in a Spanish style which was fashionable at the time but is not encrusted with jewels such as the clothes the Duchess of Milan would be portrayed in.
The ermine is an important symbol with it representing purity and chastity and also because its fur was highly prized and used to line expensive clothing.  While she was the Duke's mistress she was chaste in the fact she loyal to him.  It's thought that the ermine is a substitute for the Duke with it blocking her off from the viewer.
My lecturer really likes this painting, she said it's more beautiful than the Mona Lisa and not worth being one of many trying to get a look at it. I still want to see the Mona Lisa but Cecilia is also on the top of my list.
Hope you all enjoyed this post! 

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