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Leonardo da Vinci's Portrait of Ginevra de'Benci

Leonardo da Vinci's Portrait of Ginevra de' Benci

Portrait of Ginevra de'Benci
Leonardo da Vinci
ca. 1474-78, Original panel only: 38.1 x 37 cm (15 x 14 9/16 in.)
Gallery of Art ,
Washington , D.C.

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An early work by Italian Renaissance artist, Leonardo da Vinci, is a portrait of a young woman named Ginevra de’Benci. The sixteen year old daughter of a Florentine banker, da Vinci's Portrait of Ginevra was probably commissioned to commemorate her marriage.

Leonardo’s use of the smoky sfumato technique is subtle in Ginevra's portrait, and her image appears to be well-rounded and three-dimensional. Leonardo placed Ginevra in front of a dark juniper tree throwing her figure into strong relief. The lower part of Leonardo da Vinci's painting has been removed, so perhaps what was lost balanced the dark cloud of the juniper tree above her head. This portrait of Ginevra de'Benci by Leonardo da Vinci is the only one in America.

Brenda Harness, Art Historian

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