Thursday, October 12, 2006

"La Fornaria" (1518) by Raphael

The hand that lifts her veil also cups her left breast, a motion, the Frick argues, derived from a classical Venus Pudica rather than porn flicks. Her other hand, two fingers spread wide, covers the space between her legs while giving the illusion that her cloak may not. That left hand bears a ring, a bracelet on her left arm carries the artist's signature, and a pearl hangs down from a fashionably exotic black and yellow turban. These props could symbolize sexuality, purity, or the rites of marriage. Restoration, the Frick argues, shows that the plants behind her, too, have associations both with Venus and with marriage.


1 comment:

Connie said...

In my art history class we learned that this was a portrait of the baker's daughter whom Raphael was having an affair with. On his deathbed he renounced her (claiming to love the Pope's unattractive niece instead--easier to get into heaven that way) and the baker's daughter was committed to a convent by her father for the rest of her life.