Bartolomeo Veneto, (1470–1531)
Idealized Portrait of a Courtesan as Flora, c. 1520
Tempera and oil on poplar wood
44 × 35 cm (17.3 × 13.8 in)
Flora from c. 1515 is currently attributed to Bartolomeo. The unknown figure is painted with hard-edges and a descriptive quality. Though the sitter is unknown, she is thought (and perhaps wrongly) to be Lucrezia Borgia.
Documents suggest Bartolomeo went to Padua in 1512 and Milan in 1520. Leonardo da Vinci had recently been to Milan, where he transformed the current mundane portraiture into one of intrigue and sfumato. Leonardo's effect is evident in Bartolomeo's developing style. Flora's hair is flat and each detailed single strand is painted, much detail is paid to the flowers and jewelry draped across her body.
Lucrezia Borgia (18 April 1480 – 24 June 1519) was the daughter of Pope Alexander VI and Vannozza dei Cattanei. Her brothers included Cesare Borgia, Giovanni Borgia, and Gioffre Borgia.
Rumors about her and her family cast Lucrezia as a femme fatale, a role in which she has been portrayed in many artworks, novels and films. Many of these concern allegations of incest, poisoning, and murder on her part; however, no historical basis for these rumours has ever been brought forward beyond allegations made by rival parties. More on Lucrezia Borgia
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