Monday, 30 July 2012

Palma Vecchio and Portrait of a Young Woman

'Portrait of a Young Woman' (1518-20) by Palma Vecchio;
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

The choice was a bit thin for today but I'm glad I found an Italian painter. This Friday I will go to Rome for the very first time and I am extremely excited about the prospect of being able to see so much fine art. I had never heard of today's artist Palma Vecchio, born in 1480 and died on 30 July 1528. Wikipedia doesn't give the exact date of his death (not even the Italian page) but Safran-Arts does. Vecchio's real name was Jacopo Negretti but there is little known of his life, training and work. I immediately liked his portraits of women who are voluptuous and being portrayed in rich colours. Apparently none of his paintings have been reliably signed but because of his distinctive style, they could be attributed to his name. I think that this painting of a young woman, also known as 'La Bella', is beautiful in depiction and colour. In fact, 'La Bella' had been attributed to Titian at first because of the similarity between this painting and one of the figures in Titian's painting Sacred and Profane Love. It's a shame that 'La Bella' is on display in Madrid but I just read that Titian's 'Sacred and Profane Love' is to be seen at the Galleria Borghese in Rome, and guess again where I am going this Friday?

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