Portrait of a Young Lady, “Marietta Strozzi”

Desiderio da Settignanoc. 1460

Bode-Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Bode-Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
Berlin, Germany

By conforming to the ideal of beauty that prevailed in the Quattrocento, namely a high forehead and an elaborate hairstyle including jewellery, female portrait busts from this era bear such stylistic similarities that immense difficulties remain to this day in ascribing works to particular masters. For this Berlin bust, for example, not only Desiderio da Settignano but also Antonio Rossellino and his elder brother Bernardo have been proposed as the artist. Even the young Andrea del Verrocchio might be a possibility. This work is a testimony to the mastery of the marble sculptors of Florence, and, with the unsentimental vitality of its delicately sculpted, mischievous face, it is one of the loveliest portraits of the Early Italian Renaissance. Wilhelm von Bode thought it might be a portrait by Desiderio of Marietta Strozzi, mentioned by Giorgio Vasari.


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