FONTANA, Lavinia
(b. 1552, Bologna, d. 1614, Roma)

Family Portrait

Oil on canvas, 85 x 105 cm
Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan

The identity of this family group is not known. The sitters in the painting are positioned according to age and sex. On the top left, the old man pointing to the black dog is the deceased head of the family. At far right, the old woman in mourning garb is his widow. The other generations of youths and infants are portrayed in an harmonious balance of family relations. Each member of the family strikes the prescribed pose and gestures from a "sample book" of behavioural models.