Saturday, September 10, 2016

Women in Profile - Late 15C & Early 16C Italian Renaissance Portraits

Fra Filippo Lippi (Italian Renaissance painter, c 1406–1469) also called Lippo Lippi, Portrait of a Woman with a Man at a Casement Window

You will notice many profile portraits from painters during this period.  I am including several here, but many more appear in the postings of individual artists on this blog.  Art historian Patricia Simons emphasizes the role the profile portraits played in the political and social ambitions of Florentine families: "The age of the women in these profile portraits, along with the lavish presence of jewelry and fine costumes (usually outlawed by sumptuary legislation and rules of morality and decorum), with multiple rings on her fingers when her hands are shown, and hair bound rather than free-flowing, are all visible signs of her newly married (or perhaps sometimes betrothed) state. The woman was a spectacle when she was an object of public display at the time of her marriage but otherwise she was rarely visible, whether on the streets or in monumental works of art. In panels displayed in areas of the palace open to common interchange, she was portrayed as a sign of the ritual's performance, the alliance's formation and its honorable nature."

Fra Filippo Lippi (Italian Renaissance painter, c 1406–1469) also called Lippo Lippi, Portrait of a Woman

Art historian  Mary Garrard succinctly sumarizes the discussion of these profiles: "The Quattrocento profile portrait convention presented young women, usually at the time of their marriages , as beautiful but passive possessions of male heads of households, inert mannequins for the display of family wealth (and status) to the gaze of other males."

Attributed to the Maestro delle Storie del Pane (Italian artist, active late 1400s) Portrait of a Woman, possibly Ginevra d'Antonio Lupari Gozzadini, ca. 1485–90

During this period in Italy, an upper-class marriage established a political & social relationship between two lineages, rather than a personal or emotional link between two individuals. As Alberti’s advice makes clear, ‘beauty’ was a moral and utilitarian notion, not simply an aesthetic or sentimental one: "Beauty in a woman must be judged not only by the charm & refinement of her face, but still more by the grace of her person & her aptitude for bearing & giving birth to many fine children...In a bride...a man must first seek beauty of mind, that is, good conduct & virtue." 

Pisanello (c 1395–1455), known as Antonio di Puccio Pisano or Antonio di Puccio da Cereto, Princess of the House of Este 1436-38

Unknown Artist Florentine School Portrait 1475

Unknown Artist Florentine School Portrait 1460-70

Bonifacio Bembo (Italian painter, active 1447-1477) Portrait of Bianca Maria Sforza 1460

Domenico Ghirlandaio Ghirlandaio (Italian artist, 1449–1494) Portrait of a Lady

Piero del Pollaiuolo (Piero di Jacopo Benci) (Italian, 1441-42–1485-96 Rome) Portrait of a Lady

Amico Aspertini (Italian artist, 1470-1552) Portrait of a Lady 1500

Roberti Ferrara (Italian artist, c. 1455–1496) Ginevra Bentivoglio, c. 1474-77

Alessandro Araldi (Italian artist, 1460-1530) Portrait of a Lady

Antonio Pollaiolo Antonio di Jacopo Benci (Italian artist, c1432-1498) Portrait of a Woman

Alessio Baldovinetti (Italian artist, 1425-1499) Portrait of a Woman

Giovanni di Ser Giovanni (Lo Scheggia) (Italian artist, 1406-1486) Portrait of a Lady c 1460

Angelo da Sienna (1447-1556) Portrait of a Woman

Ambrogio de Predis, (Italian artist, 1455-1508) A Lady 1490s

Piero del Pollaiolo (Italian artist, 1443-1496) Portrait of a Woman c 1490s

Piero di Cosimo (Italian artist, 1462-1521) Simonetta Vespucci c 1480