Lady Playing a Lute

Bartolomeo Venetoabout 1530

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

Once thought to be a portrait by Leonardo da Vinci, this painting is now associated with Bartolomeo Veneto. Head tilted to the side and wearing an enigmatic expression, a young woman plays the lute. Instead of consulting the open book of music at the bottom of the painting, the lutist faces the viewer. A sheer veil covers her wavy hair, and embroidered and jeweled trimming lines the bodice and sleeves of her green velvet gown. A fur piece is draped over her left arm. Worn by high-ranking women in the 1500s, such furs were thought to keep away fleas.

The many versions and derivations of this portrait made by different artists indicate that the subject enjoyed great popularity in Milan in the first half of the 1500s.

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  • Title: Lady Playing a Lute
  • Creator: Bartolomeo Veneto and workshop
  • Date: about 1530
  • Physical Dimensions: 55.9 x 41.3 cm (22 x 16 1/4 in.)
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Oil on panel
  • Source Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Object Type: Painting
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 78.PB.221
  • Display Location: Not currently on view
  • Department: Paintings
  • Culture: Italian
  • Classification: Paintings