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"Lady with an Ermine" was written by Leonardo Da Vinci towards the end of the 15th century. It is believed that the girl depicted in the picture is the favorite of Lodovico Sforza Cecilia Galleroni. Just in the years of painting, Leonardo was in the service of the Duke.
"Lady with an ermine" is a kind of real breakthrough in the art of a psychological portrait of that time. This painting was painted in oil on wood, which was an innovation for Italian artists in those days. I must say that Leonardo Da Vinci was among those who actively used various innovations in their activities.
Another important distinctive feature of the picture is the position of the girl with the animal: her figure is depicted in three quarters, and her eyes are directed to the side, that is, they do not look at the viewer. This peculiar discovery also belongs to Da Vinci.
An interesting fact is that in the girl’s hands it’s not an ermine at all, but an albino ferret. So why is the painting called "Lady with an Ermine"? Rather, because the ermine in Greek sounds like a “gale,” which is very consonant with the name Galleroni. Such a small nuance does not play a significant role, since in those days they did not attach much importance to the species of the animal: if it is a rodent with a long tail, it means ermine. I must say that a fragile girl who has a wild animal in her arms, which is also badly tamed, looks quite impressive and beautiful.
It is worth paying attention to the facial features of the girl, as if they were carved from white marble. A transparent cap and a thin necklace on the neck only emphasize all the tenderness and sophistication of this beautiful lady, and light thin fingers barely touch the small animal, which dutifully sits in the hands of its mistress. In general, the whole picture is imbued with sublime feelings, which are captured in the look and pose of the girl.
Currently, Da Vinci's painting “A Lady with an Ermine” is in Poland in the Czartoryzhsky Gallery.
Painting Isaac Levitan Spring Big Water