Portrait of Ginevra de Benchi - Leonardo da Vinci. 38,1x37
The early work of the Italian genius portrays Ginevru dAmerigo de Benchi - Florentine poetess of the XV century. This is probably the first psychological portrait in the history of painting, in which the mood of sadness is so clearly expressed, possibly related to the severance of the heroine’s relationship with her lover, the Venetian ambassador Bernardo Bembo. The girl’s pale face with wide cheekbones and a narrow cut of eyes stands out in contrast to the evening landscape with a juniper bush - ginepro - a subtle hint of her name. The painting shows Leonardo's incomparable technical prowess. The contours of the figure are softened with the help of black and white modeling - sphumato. The author violated the Renaissance portrait tradition and portrayed a model that turned not to the left, but to the right, respectively positioning the light source.
On the back of the work is an emblem - a juniper branch inside a wreath of laurel and palm branches. The Latin inscription on the ribbon wrapping them says: “Beauty is the decoration of virtue».