Corneille de Lyon

Portrait of a Woman

Portrait of a Woman
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Author: Corneille de Lyon
Portraiture, Painting, Oil on panel, 20x15.5 cm
Origin: France, Mid-1530s

Corneille de Lyon was author of a series of small, intimate portraits which recreate for us the people who made up French 16th-century society, amongst them poets and scholars and courtiers. This portrait of a woman is a particularly faithful and objective portrayal of the sitter, not seeking to make her any more beautiful than she was in reality. Detailed attention is paid not only to the pleasant face but also the costume and various adornments. The colour range is subdued, without areas of bright colour, and thus the picture has a certain elegance and nobility. Paint was applied to a wooden panel, and the artist's technique reinforces the miniature-like effect of the work: the very smooth layers of paint, without separate brushstrokes, the enamel-like surface recalling elegant precious object. The name of this attractive young woman is unknown. Another version is to be found in a private French collection, but the sitter's identity remains a mystery.

Style: Renaissance
Source of entry: Shuvalov House Museum, Leningrad, 1925
Exibition: French Art: 15th - 18th centuries

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