Ritratto di giovane donna (c.1536)

Tiziano (c.1488-1576)

Ritratto di giovane donna (Portrait of a Young Woman)
Oil on canvas, 96 x 75 cm
Hermitage MuseumSaint Petersburg

In his portraits, Titian, one of the best portrait painters in Europe, took a radically different approach to male and female subjects. In male portraits, the work tends to be filled with emotional and psychological tension and expressiveness, while his female subjects leave an impression of unshakeable calm. Here the artist was most concerned with outer appearances, with physical beauty. The unknown subject of this painting is natural and coolly confident in the consciousness of her own youthful charm, in the luxury of her semi-naked body with its fur wrap. The soft sheen of the velvet, the shining pearls and the airiness of the ostrich feathers are all depicted with amazing likeness, but these valuables are lingered over only in order to set off the central treasure, the woman’s beautiful face. (SHM)