Lot 127
  • 127

Lavinia Fontana

30,000 - 40,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Lavinia Fontana
  • Portrait of a lady, three-quarter length, dressed in a white and gold embroidered gown, holding a glove in one hand and a rose and a pink in the other
  • oil on canvas


London, Bonhams, 9 December 2015, lot 25 (as Circle of Fontana).

Catalogue Note

Only recently restored to the artist’s oeuvre, this striking portrait of a noblewoman was recognized by Maria Teresa Cantaro as an autograph work by Lavinia Fontana, dating between 1605 and 1615.1   The identity of the distinguished sitter remains unknown but the opulence of her attire and the exquisite jewels about her neck indicate that she was a woman of high social standing and some considerable wealth.  Her white silk gown is brocaded with gold and opens from the waist to reveal a forepart decorated with gold embroidered buttons.  Her fashionable false sleeves are worn open to display further precious textiles in the under-sleeves, with multiple rows of gold braiding.   The sitter wears a ring on the third finger of both hands and in her right clasps two flowers, a rose and a pink, symbolic of love and fidelity.  Their prominence in the portrait suggest it may have been commissioned in celebration of the young woman’s marriage.


1. A copy of the expertise by Maria Teresa Cantaro, dated 9 May 2016, is available upon request from the department.