Portrait of Marquise Virginia Busti Porro as a Young Girl

Vincenzo Vela1871/1871

Fondazione Cariplo

Fondazione Cariplo
Milan, Italy

Commissioned by the Busti Venegonne family and sculpted by Vincenzo Vela in 1871, this work entered the Porro Lambertenghi Collection at Fino Mornasco, near Como, in 1881 after the marriage of the lady portrayed to Giovanni Angelo Porro Lambertenghi. The sculpture in white Carrara marble shows the young girl in contemporary dress holding out a flower from the bunch in her lap. It is distinguished from Vela’s numerous portraits by the somewhat conventional image, characterised by descriptive realism in the facial features, clothing and bunch of flowers, a far cry from the spontaneous naturalness of the portraits of young people produced from the 1850s on. The original plaster model of the work and two small preparatory works in terracotta can be seen in the artist’s house and museum in Ligornetto (Museo Vela). As with many other works by this sculptor from Ticino, including his celebrated Morning Prayer (Milan, Museo di Milano), the iconography of this sculpture in the Cariplo Collection is modelled directly on works painted by Francesco Hayez in the 1840s and 1850s, such as his widely acclaimed Portrait of Antonietta Negroni Prati Morosini (Milan, Galleria d’Arte Moderna).


  • Title: Portrait of Marquise Virginia Busti Porro as a Young Girl
  • Creator: Vincenzo Vela
  • Creator Lifespan: 1820/1891
  • Creator Nationality: Helvetian
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Creator Death Place: Ligornetto, Canton Ticino
  • Creator Birth Place: Ligornetto, Canton Ticino
  • Date: 1871/1871
  • Signature, Inscription: V. VELA. F. 1871
  • Physical Dimensions: w60 x h125 x d78 cm (Without pedestal)
  • Exhibition: Gallerie d'Italia, Piazza Scala, 6, Milano
  • Provenance: Cariplo Foundation, 1925
  • Type: Sculpture, white Carrara marble
  • Rights: http://www.artgate-cariplo.it/en/disclaimer.html
  • External Link: www.artgate-cariplo.it

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