Can You Guess the Zoomed-In Artwork?

The game's afoot! But this is less a 'Study in Scarlet' than a Stoat in White

By Google Arts & Culture

Lady with an Ermine (circa. 1489) by Leonardo da VinciThe National Museum in Krakow

It's an art history mystery…

Can you guess the painting? As you scroll, you'll zoom out in stages, revealing more details. See if you can guess the painting before the big reveal.

The first reveal!

A gold headband. Is that a clue? The woman has been distracted by something, but the background is dark. Where could she be?

Her robes look rich, but not too fancy. She can't be a queen. They look old. 15th Century perhaps? And what's that she's holding? Some kind of animal? A dog?

It's a white stoat! That's unusual, and yet strangely familiar. Let's take a step back and see which painting this really is…

Leonardo da Vinci, Lady with an Ermine, c.1489

Did you recognise it? It's Leonardo da Vinci's Lady with an Ermine!

The portrait's subject is Cecilia Gallerani. Leonardo painted the portrait at a time when she was the mistress of Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan. Leonardo was then in service to the Duke, and we can guess he didn't disappoint!

The animal Gallerani holds is a stoat - like a small ferret or marten - but when in its white winter coat, the stoat is known as an ermine. Throughout history, ermine fur has been prized for its softness and purity - qualities that Gallerani might want to be associated with.

Thanks for helping unravel the mystery! We have many more paintings to uncover, but for the moment, why not learn more about Leonardo da Vinci's Lady with an Ermine.

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Credits: All media
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