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Italian, North, Woman at a Window

Key facts
Full title Woman at a Window
Artist Italian, North
Date made probably 1510-30
Medium and support Oil on wood
Dimensions 51.4 × 41.6 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1855
Inventory number NG2146
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Woman at a Window
Italian, North

This young lady appears to be drawing back a green curtain to look out of an open window. She does not look directly at us, but sidelong at something or someone else. She holds an object in her hand which she may be about to drop over the window ledge as a token to her admirer below.

The provocative character of the lady’s dress, revealing her nipples, and her sly sideways glance from behind the curtain suggest that she may be a courtesan attracting men at her window. However, this may not necessarily be the portrait of a specific individual. Such images of beautiful ideal women or courtesans were popular in Venice in the early years of the sixteenth century and many were produced.

In the past this painting has been attributed to Pordenone. The costume resembles that in other Italian works of about 1515 and the painting probably dates from the second or third decade of the sixteenth century.

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