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Probably by Giovanni Ambrogio de Predis, Portrait of a Woman in Profile

Key facts
Full title Portrait of a Woman in Profile
Artist Probably by Giovanni Ambrogio de Predis
Artist dates about 1455 - 1510
Date made probably about 1495-9
Medium and support Oil on walnut
Dimensions 52.5 × 37.3 cm
Inscription summary Inscribed
Acquisition credit Presented by Mrs Gutekunst in memory of her husband Otto Gutekunst, 1947
Inventory number NG5752
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Portrait of a Woman in Profile
Probably by Giovanni Ambrogio de Predis

A pale young woman is set against a dark background. She is dressed sombrely but stylishly: her fair hair is drawn back under an elaborate sparkling net. She has several necklaces and she wears an olive green gown which is tightly laced across her chest and slashed at the shoulder to show her striped underdress.

We do not know who she was, but she was presumably a member of the Sforza court in Milan in the last years of the fifteenth century. The artist was the court painter there, and her dress was in fashion in the 1490s. On her belt are the letters LO and an image of the head of a Black African man, in profile – possibly an allusion to Ludovico el Moro [‘Ludovico the Moor’], Duke of Milan, although it was not one of his usual emblems.

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