Description The identity of this richly dressed lady is unknown. The composition of the portrait, including the lady's faithful lap dog—probably a beloved pet but also a symbol of the importance of a wife's being faithful to her husband—is typical of Florentine conventions of the 16th century. The inscription in the upper right corner of the painting translates as: "By yourself you see her appearance; from her appearance you may infer her character." This saying is derived from a common Renaissance belief that an individual's soul is reflected in his or her physical appearance.
- Bedazzled: 5,000 Years of Jewelry from the Walters Art Museum. Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville; The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota; The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2006-2009.
Provenance Don Marcello Massarenti Collection, Rome; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1902, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Transcription] In upper right: IPSE VIDES FORMA[M]: | DE FORMA CONIICE | MORES.; [Translation] In upper right: By yourself you see her appearance; from her appearance you may infer her character.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters with the Massarenti Collection, 1902
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