Ritratto di Simonetta Vespucci (c.1480-1485)

Botticelli, Sandro (c.1445-1510)

Ritratto di Simonetta Vespucci (Portrait of Simonetta Vespucci)
Mixed technique on poplar, 81.3 x 50 cm
Städel MuseumFrankfurt

Idealised Portrait of a Lady (Portrait of Simonetta Vespucci as Nymph)

The fantastical accoutrements in this larger-than-life-size half-length painting of a young lady make it clear that it is not a likeness in the strict sense, but an ideal portrait in the mythological guise of a nymph. Shown in profile, the young woman displays the features of Simonetta Vespucci, the prematurely deceased mistress of Giuliano de’ Medici. The pendant on her necklace also places her in the immediate circle of the Medici, imitating a famous ancient cameo which was in that family’s collection. (SG)

See also:

• Vespucci, Simonetta (1453-1476)