Portrait of a Young Woman (La Muta)
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|Type||Oil on wood|
|Dimensions||64 cm × 48 cm (25 in × 19 in)|
|Location||Galleria Nazionale delle Marche, Urbino|
The picture portrays an unknown noblewoman over a near-black background, showing some Leonardesque influences. Although only recently attributed to Raphael, it is ranked among the best portraits by his hand.
The neatness of the large areas of colour which emerge in lighter tones from the background, and the analytical treatment of the details of the woman's clothing are characteristic of Raphael. The dispersive effect of this attention to detail is fully compensated by the tones of colour - used here in a fairly limited range - which unify the composition as a whole.
Nicoletta Baldini describes the hands in this portrait as "vibratile," a distinction from Michelangelo or Da Vinci.
X-ray analysis has shown the presence of an early Raphael drawing under the painting, of a female, young face with soft features, with later modifications.
- Baldini, Nicoletta (2005). Raphael. Rizzoli. p. 14.