"Portrait of Giovanna Tornabuoni", written in 1488, was not created from nature - the source material for the work was a medal with the profile of a young woman, according to the existing version, made to marry Giovanna della Albizzi with Lorenzo Tornabuoni.
The Florentine lady was not famous for anything special in history, except
The wedding of the young people took place with the direct participation of Lorenzo the Magnificent, a relative of the groom. The celebrations were of unprecedented scope and luxury.
The author of the canvas is one of the best masters of portraiture of the Early Middle Ages period from Florence Domenico Ghirlandaio. The artist worked on the board, tempera (water-borne paint, the forerunner of oil paint).
In front of the audience - one of the classic examples of portraiture of the Renaissance, written in strict accordance with the laws of the genre.
The Florentine quadrocento, in the style of which the picture is made, is expressed by special techniques. All canons of classical medieval painting are strictly observed. A half-length portrait, a human figure is shown in profile, hands are brought together. The face of the matron is calm, expressed emotions are completely absent. An expensive jewelry is clearly visible on the chest - a brooch with precious stones, worn on a silk thread.
Giovanna is combed in medieval fashion, dressed in a luxurious outfit. It should be noted that the appearance and proportions of the body are clearly idealized so as not to violate the prescribed laws of style.
Compositionally, the portrait contains near and far plans. Closer to the viewer is a female figure. Behind it, at some distance, there is a shallow niche with several objects - coral beads attached to the upper shelf, a tablet with the words of an ancient Roman poet embossed on it, and an ajar prayer book. The exquisite set testifies to the delicate taste and genuine aristocracy of its owner.
The portrait is very different from the usual contemporary viewer, later works in this style. We can say with confidence that in this case, the viewer is dealing with an idealized image of a venerable lady. Facial features resemble a mask carefully drawn according to existing rules. It is doubtful that in life Giovanna really had such an unnaturally elongated neck.
The original of the painting is kept in Spain, in the Madrid Museum of Thyssen-Bornemisza.
Yuon's Painting End of Winter Midday Description