TitianS La Bella Portrait Of A — страница 4

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in armour, with his sword strapped to his side. This contrasting imagery alludes to his serenely harmonious devotion being made possible by the prudent conduct of war. It also refers to his continuous vigilance and awareness, even when engrossed in religious contemplation. By advertising his moral dedication and pious religious reverence, Federico is portrayed as a beautiful Christian ruler. He is pictured in profile, exposing only the left side of his face. This perspective hides the hideous scarring on his right side where he had lost his right eye while involved in a joust when he was younger. Viewers can clearly make out the numerous marks and scars on his face and the protrusion of his bulbous nose indicates where the once shattered the bridge of his nose failed to heal

correctly. Despite his many scars and disfigurements, the Duke exudes an extremely regal and dignified bearing. He is proud of his many achievements and is presented surrounded by a number of prestigious chivalric awards. Although does not conform to the stereotype of a good-looking Renaissance man, by exuding such poise and nobility of character the Duke adds another aspect to the image of masculine beauty. The Duke has also included in his portrait his greatest treasure – his son Guidobaldo. Angelic yet radiantly fragile, Guidobaldo bears the sceptre that signifies the continuation of the Montefelro dynasty. By including the image of his son Federico alluding to the dynastic assurance of the Montefeltro succession, while also celebrating the importance he places on the Family

and particularly his role as Father. Obviously the concept of beauty presented in this portrait contrasts vastly with the depiction of feminine beauty described previously. Although the Duke seeks to downplay his hideously disfigured features, he certainly does not conform to a stereotypical image of attractive Renaissance masculinity. Despite the fact he was a professional soldier, the Duke presents himself in a reverential setting with his son – highlighting his well-rounded nature and the importance he places intellectual pursuits and his role as a parent. Through his mission to enlighten and cultivate artistic excellence the Duke came to represent the Christian ideal of an active and contemplative man. Clearly it is not the concept of physical appearance which defines the

Dukes beauty in this portrait, rather it is the virtuosity and dignity of the image presented that unmistakably identifies the Duke as a representation of beautiful man of the Renaissance. By examining a number of different portraits of men and women of the Renaissance such as Titian’s La Bella, Bronzino’s Eleonora de Medici, Sofonisba Anguissola’s Self Portrait, Vasari’s Alessandro de Medici, Bronzino’s image of Cosimo de Medici and Pedro Berruguete’s Portrait of Federico da Mentelfeltro viewers can gain an understanding of the different concepts of beauty for men and women of this period. Obviously traditional stereotypes existed for both men and women, where masculinity strength and power were celebrated as male beauty, while elegant aesthetically pleasing women

were regarded as the definition of great feminine beauty. Portraits which conform to standard images of the ‘beautiful woman’ and ‘handsome man’ include La Bella and Alessandro de Medici. However, just to accept these aesthetic ideals as the only acceptable interpretations of beauty of the time is to over-simplify the concept of beauty in the Renaissance. Beautiful portraits including that of Eleonora de Toledo and Federico da Montelfeltro often had powerful political significance and were often used as vital means of propaganda communication. Beyond these conventional images we have such images as Cosimo de Medici as Orpheus and Self Portrait by Sofonisba. Which, although rare, were recognised as beautiful portraits of the time, and present and much more unusual and

intriguing visions of beauty. Through the exploration of this diverse range portraiture, the contrasting ideals of masculine and feminine beauty in the Renaissance have been explored. Yet overall, no matter what the gender orientation of the subject, it the discovery of such passionate and artistic talent presented which is essentially ‘beautiful’. Consequently, the grand appeal of such glorious images is still appreciated today, and will continue to delight viewers for generations to come. 52d Paola Tingali Women in Italian Renaissance Art (Manchester 1997) Geraldine A. Johnson & Sara Greico Picturing Women in Renaissance and Baroque Italy (Cambridge 1997) Patricia Simons Portraiture: Facing the Subject ed Woodhall (Manchester 1997) Lorne Campbell Renaissance Portraits