Lorenzo Costa

Portrait of a Lady

Portrait of a Lady
(click image to zoom-in)
Author: Lorenzo Costa
Portraiture, Painting, Oil on canvas, 57x44 cm
Origin: Italy, Between 1500 and 1506

Costa came from Ferrara but his painting style developed in Bologna, to which he moved at the age of 23. From the early 16th century Bolognese painting was strongly influenced by Raphael and this portrait of an unknown lady was, until the early 20th century, attributed to the master from Urbino himself.

It was during the Renaissance period that portraiture became an independent and highly popular genre, largely thanks to the rich opportunities it provided to express Renaissance conceptions of the supreme value of man. The simple composition of this portrait is typical for the late 15th and early 16th centuries. Its dark background and restrained colouring, the somewhat flat rendering of the torso and shoulders, all force the viewer to concentrate on the sitter's face. The barely perceptible smile and lively look in her large intelligent eyes suggest an energetic and cheerful personality.

Style: Renaissance
Source of entry: 1921
School: Ferrara

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