Portrait of Doña Isabel de Requesens y Enríquez de Cardona-Anglesola

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Portrait of Doña Isabel de Requesens y Enríquez de Cardona-Anglesola
P1080752 Louvre Raphael Portrait de Dona Isabel de Requesens INV612 rwk.JPG
Artist Giulio Romano and Raphael
Year c. 1518
Catalogue INV 612
Type Oil on panel, transferred to canvas
Dimensions 120 cm × 95 cm (47 in × 37 in)
Location Louvre, Paris

Portrait of Doña Isabel de Requesens y Enríquez de Cardona-Anglesola is an oil painting dated circa 1518 that was formerly believed to depict Giovanna d'Aragona. It has been variously ascribed to Raphael, Giulio Romano, or the school of Raphael; it is now usually taken to have been executed by Giulio Romano based on a sketch by Raphael and then altered by Raphael. The painting is now in the Louvre Museum in Paris.

History[edit]

The portrait of "the vicereine of Naples" was commissioned from Raphael in 1518 by Cardinal Bibbiena on behalf of Pope Leo X for Francis I of France, who collected portraits of beautiful women.[1][2] Pierre de Bourdeille, seigneur de Brantôme took the description to refer to Giovanna d'Aragona (1502 – 1575);[3][4] a study in 1997 demonstrated that the subject was rather Isabel de Requesens, the wife of Ramón de Cardona, who was viceroy of Naples from 1509 to 1522.[5] According to Vasari, Raphael sent Giulio Romano, one of his young assistants, to Naples to paint the portrait, except for the face, which he was responsible for;[1][5][6] documentary evidence survives in Raphael's hand confirming Giulio Romano's work on this commission.[7] The face has indeed been altered;[8] otherwise Vasari's description might also apply to another portrait which has been attributed to Giulio Romano and Raphael, Isabella of Aragon as Mona Lisa, depicting Isabella of Aragon, Duchess of Milan, also known as Isabella of Naples.

Opinions have varied as to who executed the cartoon for the Portrait of Doña Isabel de Requesens, which was likely reused for that of Isabella of Aragon; Luitpold Dussler considered the painting entirely Giulio Romano's work.[9] However, both portraits are now generally thought to have been executed to Raphael's design, and the two paintings have been referred to as Raphael's Giocondae for their visual references to Leonardo's Mona Lisa (also known as La Gioconda), which was already in Francis I's collection.[10] It is also possible that the portrait of Isabella of Aragon is a copy;[11] the gallery that holds it, the Doria Pamphilj Gallery in Rome, lists it as "after" Raphael.[12]

A number of copies of the painting exist, and Vasari states that one copy entirely by Giulio Romano was made at the same time and included in the gift to the king; Brantôme reported having seen one version in the king's apartments at Fontainebleau, the other in the queen's.[4]

The Portrait of Doña Isabel de Requesens was restored by Francesco Primaticcio in the mid-16th century[13] and transferred from the original wood to canvas either then[14] or in the 18th century.[15]

Portrait of Isabella of Naples, also attributed to Giulio Romano and Raphael

Description[edit]

The subject is portrayed seated, turned to the viewer's left, wearing a deep red velvet dress trimmed with gold whose sleeves are slashed to reveal the cream fabric of her chemise, and a hat with jewels on the brim, whose shape suggests a halo. She is portrayed in three-quarters length, one hand fingering the fur around her shoulders, the other resting on one knee. In the background a woman leans against the railing of a loggia overlooking a garden; the vault is a visual quotation from the story of Cupid and Psyche as painted by Raphael on the ceiling of the Loggia di Psiche at the Villa Farnesina in Rome.[1] Her loose hair, the red garments (the colour of love for Petrarch), and her meeting the viewer's gaze are all sensuous details; further, the portrait is innovative in including her knees, which in addition are visibly parted, and in not having her hands chastely together as a barrier.[1] The composition corresponds to that of other Raphael portraits in being based on the musical ratio 9/12/16.[16]

Both Isabel de Requesens and Giovanna d'Aragona were famous beauties; Giovanna was the subject of a poem by Agostino Nifo, "De pulchro et amore", and it has been suggested that the beauty in the painting was as much formulaic as true to life.[17]

Both Giocondae portraits feature carved cats on the right which resemble lions, a punning allusion to Leonardo.[18] The woman in the background is replaced by a man in the portrait of Isabella of Naples; they may allude respectively to the sitter and the artist in the Mona Lisa.[19]

Manet likely had this painting in mind when he painted his regal picture of his wife Suzanne, The Reading.[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Joanna Woods-Marsden, "Portrait of the Lady, 1430–1520", in: Virtue and Beauty: Leonardo's "Ginevra de' Benci" and Renaissance Portraits of Women, ed. David Alan Brown, Washington: National Gallery of Art, 2001, ISBN 9780894682858, pp. 62–87, pp. 80–81.
  2. ^ Eugène Müntz, Raphael, His Life, Works and Times, tr. from 2nd ed. by Sir Walter Armstrong, London: Chapman and Hall / New York: Armstrong, 1888, OCLC 269438, p. 216 Archived 2015-09-24 at the Wayback Machine..
  3. ^ Jean Galard, Promenades au Louvre: en compagnie d'écrivains, d'artistes et de critiques d'art, Paris: Laffont, 2010, ISBN 9782221106549, p. 241 (in French)
  4. ^ a b Louis Villat et al., "Chronique", Revue du seizième siècle 11 (1924) 115–28, pp. 115–16 (in French)
  5. ^ a b Michael P. Fritz, Giulio Romano et Raphaël: La vice-reine de Naples ou la renaissance d'une beauté mythique, tr. Claire Nydegger, Collection Solo 5, Paris: Réunion des Musées Nationaux, 1997, ISBN 9782711835102 (in French)
  6. ^ Giorgio Vasari, Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects, Part 3, p. 325; translation online, based on Gaston C. DeVere.
  7. ^ "Les dernières années de Raphael exposées au Louvre", Museis, 6 January 2013 (in French)
  8. ^ as revealed by X-ray and infrared photography; Woods-Marsden, p. 87, note 124.
  9. ^ Luitpold Dussler, tr. Sebastian Cruft, "Portrait of Giovanna of Aragon", in Raphael: A Critical Catalogue of his Pictures, Wall-Paintings and Tapestries, London/New York: Phaidon, 1971, OCLC 9780714814698, pp. 63–64 (online text).
  10. ^ Donato Pezzutto, "Raphael's Gioconda", OPUSej, 26 June 2013 (pdf).
  11. ^ Pezzutto, pp. 19–20.
  12. ^ Tabella Opere, Palazzo Doria Pamphilj, see Ritratto di Isabella de Requesens di Napoli? (in Italian)
  13. ^ Louis Dimier, Le Primatice, peintre, sculpteur et architecte des rois de France: Essai sur la vie et les ouvrages de cet artiste suivi d'un catalogue raisonné de ses dessins et de ses compositions gravées, Paris: Leroux, 1900, OCLC 2887761, p. 61 (in French)
  14. ^ Pezzutto, p. 6, citing Fritz.
  15. ^ Raffaello Santi, dit Raphaël, Giulio Pippi, dit Giulio Romano: Portrait de Dona Isabel de Requesens, vice-reine de Naples, dit autrefois Portrait de Jeanne d'Aragon, Louvre Museum (in French)
  16. ^ Charles Bouleau, tr. Jonathan Griffin, The Painter's Secret Geometry: A Study of Composition in Art, 1963, repr. Mineola, New York: Dover, 2014, ISBN 9780486780405, p. 98.
  17. ^ Elizabeth Cropper, "On Beautiful Women, Parmigianino, Petrarchismo, and the Vernacular Style", The Art Bulletin 58.3, September 1976, pp. 374–94, p. 384 and note 40.
  18. ^ Pezzutto, p. 18.
  19. ^ Pezzutto, p. 16, image details p. 17.
  20. ^ Stéphane Guégan, "Raphaël et Cie", blogs, Le Monde, 11 November 2012 (in French).

Further reading[edit]

  • Johann David Passavant, Raphael D'Urbin et son père Giovanni Santi, 2 vols., Paris: Renouard, 1860, Volume 2, pp. 265–69 (in French)

External links[edit]