An arrogant and enigmatic lady turns her eyes on the observer while her left index finger points to an open book. Her right hand rests on her breast and in a delightful gesture she inserts the index finger in her bodice, perhaps as an indication of her depth of spirit. The lady's identity is uncertain, but it has been suggested that she might be the poet Vittoria Colonna or Giulia Gonzaga, athough the chronology of the work casts doubts on these identifications. The attributes could match any lady of the time who was a lover of letters. Whoever she was, her gesture clearly denotes the richness and ambiguity of her wisdom.


  • Title: Vittoria Colonna [?]
  • Creator: Sebastiano del Piombo
  • Creator Lifespan: Around 1485 - 1547
  • Creator Death Place: Rome
  • Creator Birth Place: Venice
  • Date Created: 1520-1525
  • Subject: Portrait
  • Physical Dimensions: w725 x h960 cm
  • Inventory number: 064984-000
  • Artwork history: Francesc Cambó Bequest, 1949; acquired, 1954
  • Type: Painting
  • External Link: Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya
  • Medium: Oil on wood

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