Museums and Art

Portrait of Ginevra de Este, Antonio Pisanello

Portrait of Ginevra de Este, Antonio Pisanello

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Portrait of Ginevra de Este - Antonio Pisanello. 43x30

“Portrait of Ginevra de Este” (“Portrait of the Princess”) - The work of the Italian painter of the early Quattrocento Antonio Pisanello (1395-1455). The princess’s profile resembles chased images created on commemorative medals.

Some researchers have suggested that the one depicted is not Ginevra de Este, but another representative of this house, nee Gonzago. However, at present, it is believed that the portrait still belongs to Ginevra.

The girl is captured on a background of flowers. For the modern viewer, they mean nothing more than just a picturesque “natural” background, but they could tell a lot about the artist’s contemporaries. Each flower has its own symbolic meaning and denotes a specific phenomenon. Included by the painter in the "context" of the work, these flowers carry a secret meaning, revealing the life story of the princess. Ginevra dEste was killed by her husband because she could not have children. Carnation flowers and catchment bells symbolize matrimony and fertility, but catchment (aquilegia) also has a different meaning - death. Juniper twig pinned to the sleeve of the dress also speaks of death.