Leonardo Da Vinci's Portrait of Cecilia Gallerani, also know as Lady with an Ermine is one of Da Vinci's most recognisable canvases and, alongside Mona Lisa and The Last Supper, is a painting filled with mystery and attached to widely divergent interpretations. Painted between 1483 and 1490, Lady with an Ermine has been identified as a figurative reproduction of the likeness of Cecilia Gallerani when she was the mistress of the Duke of Milan, and when Da Vinci was in the service of the Duke. The lady, aged only sixteen when the portrait was painted, is an electrifying and living figure on the canvas, confidently holding firm the enigmatic ermine. This quick and feral creature, very unlikely to remain still in a human's grip, has been tamed and domesticated by this charismatic young woman. The addition of this unusual animal, both mirrored and contrasted in the form and features of Cecilia Gallerani, has been interpretative variously as a hidden suggestion of the Duke's fixation with the woman, a moral lesson, and a jealous rebuke.
Perhaps the Ermine is an emblem of the commissioner, Ludovico Sforza, who in Da Vinci's wry reproduction is submissive to the domineering young mistress. The lack of leads, collars, or bindings connect the two figures on the canvas. Cecillia's hair is bound closely, primarily to draw attention to the proportions of the woman's head, yet the coiled energy of both unrestrained creatures juxtaposes the gentle band that wraps her temple. Da Vinci's mastery of light, form, composition, harmony and shadow is the supreme virtue of this masterpiece. After five hundred years of existence, and like the canvas itself, our one shared interpretation of the young Cecillia is one of fragility.
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Important Notes About Your Painting:
If you have any request to alter your reproduction of Portrait of Cecilia Gallerani (Lady with an Ermine) 1483-90, you must email us after placing your order and we'll have an artist contact you. If you have another image of Portrait of Cecilia Gallerani (Lady with an Ermine) 1483-90 that you would like the artist to work from, please include it as an attachment. Otherwise, we will reproduce the above image for you exactly as it is.
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