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Audio Stop 211

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This square portrait shows the head and shoulders of a young woman in front of a spiky bush that fills much of the background except for a landscape view that extends into the deep distance to our right. Her body is angled to our right but her face turns to us. She has chalk-white, smooth skin with heavily lidded, light brown eyes, and her pale pink lips are closed. Pale blush highlights her cheeks and she seems to look either at us or very slightly away from our eyes. Her brown hair is parted down the middle and pulled back, but tight, lively curls frame her face. Her hair turns gold where the light shines on it. She wears a brown dress, trimmed along the square neckline with gold. The front of the bodice is tied with a blue ribbon, and the lacing holes are also edged with gold. A sheer white veil covers her chest and is pinned at the center with a small gold ball. Areas of watery blue sky poke through the dark brown and army green spiky that branches fill much of the background around her head and along the left edge of the panel. A river winds into the distance towards trees and rolling hills in the distant landscape to the right. The landscape becomes more blue as it recedes.

Leonardo da Vinci

Ginevra de' Benci [obverse], c. 1474/1478

West Building, Main Floor - Gallery 06

Curator and head of Italian and Spanish paintings Eve Straussman Pflanzer explores the life and loves of the woman at the center of Da Vinci’s portrait.  

West Building Tour: Featured Selections