La belle ferronnière

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La belle ferronnière is a portrait of a lady, usually attributed to Leonardo da Vinci, in the Louvre. It is also known as Portrait of an Unknown Woman. The painting's title, applied as early as the seventeenth century, identifying the sitter as the wife or daughter of an ironmonger (a ferronnier), was said to be discreetly alluding to a reputed mistress of Francis I of France, married to a certain Le Ferron. The tale is a romantic legend of revenge in which the aggrieved husband intentionally infects himself with syphilis, which he passes to the king through infecting his wife.

Leonardo's Lady with an Ermine, has also been known by this name. This was once believed to be a portrait of Cecilia Gallerani—one of the mistresses of Lodovico 'il Moro' Sforza, Duke of Milan. The narrative and the title were applied to Lady with an Ermine when it was in Princess Czartoryski's collection, and became confused with "La Belle Ferronniere" by the presence in this image also of a jewel worn on a delicate chain across the forehead, called a ferronnière.

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Published in 10/08/2018

Updated in 19/02/2021

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Invalid DateAnnunciationAnnunciation
Invalid DateGinevra de' BenciGinevra de' Benci
Invalid DateAdoration of the MagiAdoration of the Magi
Invalid DateVirgin of the RocksVirgin of the Rocks
Invalid DateLady with an ErmineLady with an Ermine
Invalid DateLa belle ferronnièreLa belle ferronnière
Invalid DateMadonna LittaMadonna Litta
Invalid DateThe Last SupperThe Last Supper
Invalid DateSalvator MundiSalvator Mundi
Invalid DateMona LisaMona Lisa