Skip to main content
A Lady in Profile
Follower of Sandro Botticelli
/

Portraits like this – of idealised women, seen in profile – were popular in fifteenth-century Florence. This picture is not by Botticelli but by his workshop, which was one of many that produced them. The women usually have fair hair, pale skin and rosy lips, as this was thought to be the most beautiful colouring.

This belief was influenced by fourteenth-century poetic descriptions of beautiful – and virtuous – women. Since the face was seen as the mirror of the soul, such portraits also emphasised the character of their sitters.

Like many other portraits of the period, this one has a painted reverse. It shows a winged figure standing on a rocky mound. We don't know the meaning of the image, but it most probably symbolised the woman’s moral character.

Key facts
Artist Follower of Sandro Botticelli
Artist dates about 1445 - 1510
Full title A Lady in Profile
Date made about 1490
Medium and support Tempera on wood
Dimensions 59.1 x 40 cm
Acquisition credit Bequeathed by the Misses Cohen as part of the John Samuel collection, 1906
Inventory number NG2082
Location in Gallery Gallery A: Paintings 1250-1600
Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download an 800px wide, 72dpi copy of this image.

License this image

License and download a high resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Yes, I'd like to donate
Or
Download low resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo