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Arts & Music » Visual arts » Painting

Virtue and Beauty

features nearly a dozen portraits of women in Florence created between 1440 and 1540. These paintings, marble sculptures, medals, and drawings reflect a time when subjects in art expanded to include not only rulers and their consorts but also women of the merchant class. (National Gallery of Art)

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Interesting Fact:

In the first half of the sixteenth century, portraits became larger and included more of the sitter's body. This new type originated with Leonardo's Mona Lisa, which portrays the sitter in a relaxed pose with her hands resting in her lap. Bronzino reflected Leonardo's influence in his Portrait of a Lady, thought to represent Francesca Salviati at the time of her second marriage to Ottaviano de' Medici.
Sandro Botticelli, 'Young Woman (Simonetta Vespucci?) in Mythological Guise,' c. 1480/1485. tempera on panel

Fantasy beauty

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