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Portrait of a Woman (Agnese, the painter’s sister-in-law?)
Licinio, Bernardino
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Licinio, Bernardino

Poscanti, Bergamo, Lombardy, 1489 - Venice, 1560

Licinio, Bernardino See author's file

Portrait of a Woman (Agnese, the painter’s sister-in-law)?

1525 - 1530. Oil on unlined canvas Room 041

Modigliani identified the sitter as Agnese, the painter’s sister-in-law, through her resemblance to the woman who appears in the Portrait of Arrigo Licinio and his Family (Rome, Galleria Borghese, inv. 115). As that painting is datable to around 1540, the present work must have been executed between 1525 and 1530 as Agnese here appears considerably younger than in the Rome portrait, by which point she was the mother of five children.The facial resemblance between the women in the two portraits justifies this identification, as does the similarity of the dress, which conforms to the style of the middle-class sitters who constituted the bulk of Licinio’s clients. Another point in favour of the identification is the ostentatious display of the wedding ring in the present work, which suggests that it is a wedding portrait.Various experts, however, have rejected the suggestion and have opted to date both paintings to around 1540. The present portrait is an excellent example of Bernardino Licinio’s virtues and limitations as a portrait painter. Probably trained in the workshop of Giovanni Bellini, Licinio derived his basic compositional model from Giorgione and the young Titian, making little changes to that format in his works.This is evident in the marble block on which the present sitter rests her arm, which is to be seen in nineteen of the thirty-three individual portraits by Licinio to have survived. It is also evident in the book, which is possibly a ‘petrarchino’ (an octavo edition of Petrarch’s Rime edited by Pietro Bembo and published by Aldo Manuzio in Venice in 1501 and frequently depicted in portraits of lovers in this period) but which cannot be definitely identified, as is usually the case with Licinio.The present work is one of the artist’s best creations in this genre, with a sense of warm immediacy conveyed by the sitter who looks with a frank expression at the viewer, the pronounced chromatic contrasts between the light areas (her skin and dress) and the dark ones (her hair and the background). Particularly noteworthy is the treatment of the dress, which is painted with bold brushstrokes. Unusual within the artist’s oeuvre, which may point to the fact that it was painted for a family member. (Falomir Faus, M.: El retrato del Renacimiento, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2008, p. 473)

Technical data

Inventory number
P000289
Author
Licinio, Bernardino
Title
Portrait of a Woman (Agnese, the painter’s sister-in-law?)
Date
1525 - 1530
Technique
Oil
Support
Unlined canvas
Dimension
Height: 98 cm.; Width: 70 cm.
Provenance
Roya Collection (Real Alcázar, Madrid, 1734; Palacio Real Nuevo, Madrid, 1794).

Bibliography +

Modigliani, Ettore, La cosi detta 'famiglia di Bernardino Licinio' nella Galeria Borghese, L'ARTE, 6, 1903, pp. 304-6,380-381.

Hadeln, D.Von, Linig Bildder und jeichmurgen der Bernardino Licino, MONATSHEFTE FUR KUNST WISSENSCHAFT, 1910.

Venturi, Adolfo, Storia Dell'Arte Italiana. Vol. IX. 3. La Pittura del Cinque..., Ulrico Hoepli, 1928, pp. 477.

Salas, Xavier de, Museo del Prado. Catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1972.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1985, pp. 367.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: inventario general de pinturas, Museo del Prado, Espasa Calpe, Madrid, 1990.

Checa Cremades, Fernando, Tiziano y la monarquía hispánica: usos y funciones de la pintura veneciana en España (siglos XVI y XVII), Nerea, Madrid, 1994, pp. 313, n. 185.

Checa Cremades, Fernando, De Tiziano a Bassano. Maestros Venecianos del Museo de Prado, Museu Nacional D'Art de Catalunya, 1997, pp. 66-68.

Checa Cremades, Fernando, De Tiziano a Bassano. Maestros Venecianos del Museo de Prado, Museu Nacional D'Art de Catalunya, Barcelona, 1997, pp. 66-68.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Pintura italiana del Renacimiento: guía, Museo del Prado, Aldeasa, Madrid, 1999, pp. 128.

Arte y poesía: el amor y la guerra en el renacimiento, Sociedad Estatal de Conmemoraciones Culturales, Madrid, 2002, pp. 422.

El retrato del Renacimiento, El retrato del Renacimiento, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2008, pp. 220/221.

Other inventories +

Inv. Real Museo, 1857. Núm. 693.
Bordone (Paris) / 693. Retrato de señora. (figura de medio cuerpo.) / Vestida de blanco, con un libro en la mano derecha, que apoya en un pedestal. En la cabeza tiene un turbante compañero al vestido. / Alto 3 pies, 6 pulg; ancho 2 pies, 6 pulg.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1872-1907. Núm. 342.

Exhibitions +

The Renaissance Portrait
Madrid
03.06.2008 - 07.09.2008

Pintura y poesía: del amor y la guerra en el Renacimiento
Madrid
01.11.2002 - 31.01.2003

Pintura veneciana del siglo XVI de las colecciones del Museo del Prado
Barcelona
04.12.1997 - 08.02.1998

Location +

Room 041 (On Display)

Expuesto
Update date: 17-01-2020 | Registry created on 02-12-2015

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