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Portrait of a Young Woman
Paris Bordone
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A young woman, wearing a crimson robe and pearl necklace from which a gold cross is suspended, stands in an imaginary architectural setting. An opening into what appears to be a brightly lit courtyard reveals a precarious, twisting flight of stairs. A man in a dark costume stands at the top, apparently watching the woman below.

The inscription above the lady’s right shoulder says she is 19 years old. However, her untucked translucent shawl, sideways glance and bold hand on her hip suggest she might not have been as demure as her cross implies. She may have been a beautiful courtesan.

The picture was possibly made to hang to the left of a painting of a young man, maybe the lady’s betrothed or her lover. This would explain her sidelong glance and the light falling from the right, which is very unusual in Bordone’s work.

Key facts
Artist Paris Bordone
Artist dates 1500 - 1571
Full title Portrait of a Young Woman
Date made about 1545
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 100.9 x 82.5 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1861
Inventory number NG674
Location in Gallery Room 12
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