Leonardo da Vinci Paintings
Lady from the Court of Milan, La Belle Ferronniere, c.1490
Oil on panel, 24.8 x 17.72 inches [63 x 45 cm]
Musee du Louvre, Paris, France
It may be that this painting - Lady from the Court of Milan, La Belle Ferronniere was done by an apprentice, or Leonardo may have been forced to do some traditional Milanese courtly portraiture at the whim of his patron; tradition demanded an unnatural pose as shown in this painting. It also placed great importance on showy dresses, jewellery and other decorations, as shown in this painting. Another possible answer is that La Belle Ferronniere was a joint project carried out by several artists at the School of Leonardo, and based on a design by him.
Done around 1495 "Lady from the Court of Milan, La Belle Ferronniere " takes its name from the ferroniere the sitter wears around her brow, a common Lombard fashion. In the nineteenth century this work was much admired and widely copied, though no other artist managed to capture the beautiful modelling of the face. It is thought the painting may have originally been balanced with an architectural element on the left but this is one work over which there are more questions than answers.