Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 1265
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Shell , Janice and Grazioso Sironi
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Cecilia Gallerani: Leonardo’s Lady with an Ermine [The authors identify the sitter for Leonardo’s portrait as Cecilia Gallerani, the mistress of Duke Ludovico Sforza. It is not the lady’s resemblance to other women in other contemporary portraits but the iconography of the painting that identifies her. She holds an ermine (weasel) because Sforza's emblem was the ermine, or because the Greek word for ermine is “gale” (a pun on the lady’s surname). Cecilia may also have been the model for the pointing angel in Leonardo’s “Virgin of the Rocks.” The Appendix transcribes six Latin documents concerning Cecilia. Title note supplied by Feminae.].
  • Source: Artibus et Historiae 13, 25 ( 1992): Pages 47 - 66.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Art History- Painting Iconography Cecilia, Saint in Art Leonardo da Vinci, Humanist- Lady with an Ermine Leonardo da Vinci, Humanist- Virgin of the Rocks Mary, Virgin, Saint in Art Portraits Weasels in Art Women in Art
  • Geographic Area: Italy
  • Century: 15
  • Related Resources:
  • Primary Evidence: Painting; Cracow, Czartoryski Collection, Leonardo da Vinci, “Lady with an Ermine” (Cecilia Gallerani). The young woman in this portrait holds an ermine (weasel) in her hands. Painting;Paris, Musée du Louvre, Leonardo da Vinci, “The Virgin of the Rocks.” Depicts th
  • Illustrations: Fourteen Figures. Figure One Leonardo da Vinci, “Lady with an Ermine” (Cecilia Gallerani), (Cracow, Czartoryski Collection). Figure Two Leonardo da Vinci, “Portrait of a Woman” (“La Belle Ferronniere”), (Paris, Musée du Louvre). Painting is a bust-length portrait of an unknown lady. Figure Three Benedetto Briosco, “Lodovico Sforza, called Il Moro,” drawing, marble relief (Washington, D. C., National Gallery of Art, Andrew W. Mellon Collection). Profile portrait of Sforza, with inscription “Ludovicus M. Sf. Dux Bari.” Figure Four Leonardo da Vinci, “Portrait of Isabella d’Este,” drawing (Musée du Louvre, Paris). Profile portrait of Isabella, marchioness of Mantua. Figure Five Anonymous, “Portrait of a Woman,” late 16th century, whereabouts unkown. Painting is a bust-length portrait of an unidentified woman. Figure Six After Bartolomeo Veneto, “St. Cecilia with a Lute,” (Milan, Pinacoteca del Castello Sforzesco). Painting depicts the female patron saint of musicians playing a lute. Figure Seven Ambrogio de Predis, “Portrait of a Woman,” (London, The National Gallery). Painting is a profile portrait of a young woman. Figure Eight Lombard school, “Portrait of a Lady with a Pearl Cap,” (Milan, Pinacoteca Ambrosiana). Profile portrait of a young woman who wears a pearl necklace and pearl cap. Figure Nine Leonardo da Vinci, “Lady with an Ermine” (Cecilia Gallernai), detail of the ermine, (Cracow, Czartoryski Collection). Leonardo da Vinci, “Allegory of the Ermine,” drawing, (Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum). Depicts a hunter pursuing an ermine. Figure Eleven Leonardo da Vinci, “The Virgin of the Rocks,” (Paris, Musée du Louvre). Figure Twelve Leonardo da Vinci, “The Virgin of the Rocks,” detail of the pointing angel, (Paris, Musée du Louvre). Figure Thirteen Leonardo da Vinci, drawing, study for the face of the pointing angel in “The Virgin of the Rocks,” (Turin, Galleria dell'Accademia Albertina). Figure Fourteen Master of the Pala Sforzesca, “Pala Sforzesca,” (Milan, Pinacoteca di Brera). Detail of Beatrice d’Este, wife of Lodovico Sforoza. She kneels in prayer before the Virgin and Child.
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  • Abstract:
  • Author's Affiliation: Milan, Italy [Art Historian], Milan, Italy [Art Historian];
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 1992.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 03919064
  • Material/Technique :
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