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Italian, Ferrarese or Bolognese follower of Raphael, A Female Saint

Key facts
Full title A Female Saint
Artist Italian, Ferrarese or Bolognese follower of Raphael
Artist dates ; 1483 - 1520
Date made 16th or 17th century
Medium and support Oil on walnut
Dimensions 95.9 × 74.3 cm
Acquisition credit Sir Claude Phillips Bequest, 1924
Inventory number NG4031
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
A Female Saint
Italian, Ferrarese or Bolognese follower of Raphael

This painting may be an idealised portrait of a woman in the guise of a saint, as she has a thin gold halo above her head. She looks directly at us and presses her right hand against her breast. Her oval face, strong regular features and plaited bound hairstyle give her the appearance of a woman from ancient Rome.

We do not know who painted the picture, although it is likely they were working in Ferrara or Bologna. The painting is related in design to Raphael’s Donna Velata (Palazzo Pitti, Florence) and particularly to a painting by Giulio Romano which was derived from Raphael’s picture.

The frame dates from the seventeenth century and may be original to the painting – both have suffered from the same type of worm damage. The style of the frame is associated with the region of Emilia-Romagna, and particularly Bologna.

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