This work, symbol of the Museum, is one of the most famous portraits of the Renaissance.
The profile of the lady, against a clear blue sky, is traced by a fine black outline. The mass of her hair, caught up in a veil, has a string of small pearls wound around it. The extraordinary richness of her dress, her hairstyle and her jewels suggest she must have been a prominent member of the Florentine aristocracy.
The work, dating from about 1470, belongs to an important series of female portraits painted in the second half of the fifteenth century by the Florentine workshop of the brothers Antonio and Piero del Pollaiolo. The great care in rendering the effects of light on the lady’s golden hair, on the pearls, on the precious stones and on the face, shows the influence of the innovations introduced in Italy by the contemporary Flemish painters.