SMB Metropolitan Museum of Art
Artist Sandro Botticelli (ca. 1445 – 1510)
Title Profile Portrait of a Young Lady (Simonetta Vespucci?)
Medium Tempera on poplar
Dimensions 47.5 x 35 cm
Date ca. 1476
Collection Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, cat. no. 106 A
About the Painting This young woman in a red dress with a black bodice inset appears against dark wall with a high window opening. At first glance, the composing appears very static, but closer inspection reveals that this beauty has turned almost imperceptibly toward the viewer from a strict left profile. Her golden hair lends the painting movement, since it is partly braided with pearls and ribbons in “beautiful disarray” and partially left to flap freely in the breeze. This recalls Botticelli’s mythological figures and raises the question whether the artist was creating the portrait of an actual woman or a representation of ideal beauty.

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