Some copies, like the present work and a version in Baltimore, record the vestigial columns that were thought to have been removed from the original composition at an early stage.2 Some of the early copiests wanted to "complete" Leonardo's composition by introducing columns at the sides of the composition, since in the original, we can see two fragmentary columns framing the figure and forming a "window" looking out over the landscape. However, extensive technical examinations of the Louvre's panel and the paint along its edges have conclusively demonstrated that the painting was not cut down and therefore there were never columns along the side edges. The present canvas - which preserves the captivating impression, the soft atmospheric haze, and the enigmatic smile of Leonardo's model - is of a very high-quality and was likely painted during the seventeenth century.
A similar copy was recently sold, Sotheby's New York, 31 January 2019, lot 171 for $ 1.695.000.
1. Oil on poplar panel, 77 by 53 cm, musée du Louvre, Paris, inv. no. 779.
2. Oil on canvas, 79.3 by 63.5 cm, The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, inv. no. 37.1158.
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