Art print by Zunuzin

Lady with Ermine (Leonardo da Vinci Improvisation)

Original painting artwork description:
Year created: 2005
The original artwork is oil painting on canvas, size 57.1x39.4 in (145x100 cm), and is available for sale. Buy original on Saatchi Art

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History of the Lady with Ermine by Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci - Lady with ermine

Leonardo da Vinci
"Lady With an Ermine"
Czartoryski Museum, Krakow

Lady with an Ermine is a painting by Leonardo da Vinci, from around 1489–1490. The subject of the portrait is identified as Cecilia Gallerani, and was probably painted at a time when she was the mistress of Lodovico Sforza, Duke of Milan and Leonardo was in the service of the Duke.

The small portrait generally called The Lady with the Ermine was painted in oils on wooden panel by Leonardo da Vinci. At the time of its painting, the medium of oil paint was relatively new to Italy, having been introduced in the 1470s. Leonardo was one of those artists who adopted the new medium and skillfully exploited its qualities. The sitter has been identified with reasonable security as Cecilia Gallerani who was the mistress of Leonardo's employer, Lodovico Sforza, known as Lodovico il Moro.

The painting shows a half-length figure, the body of the young woman turned at a three-quarter angle towards her right, but her face turned towards her left. Her gaze is directed neither straight ahead, nor towards the viewer, but towards a "third party" beyond the picture's frame. In her arms Cecilia holds a small white creature which is described in the painting's title as an ermine, but which may in fact be better described as a ferret[citation needed]. Cecilia's dress is comparatively simple, revealing that she is not a noblewoman. Her coiffure, known as a "coazone", confines her hair smoothly to her head with two bands of hair bound on either side of her face and a long plait at the back. Her hair is held in place by a fine gauze veil with a woven border of gold-wound threads, a black band and a sheath over the plait.

There are several interpretations of the significance of the ermine in her portrait. The ermine, a stoat in its winter coat, was a traditional symbol of purity because it was believed that an ermine would face death rather than soil its white coat: Leonard amused himself by compiling a bestiary in his old age; in it he recorded. Via

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22.8x48 in (58x122 cm), archival pigment print on canvas, signed by author, limited edition of 100