GIULIO ROMANO
(b. ca. 1499, Roma, d. 1546, Mantova)

Portrait of a Woman (detail)

c. 1531
Oil on panel
Royal Collection, Windsor

It has been suggested that the portrait was made at the time of her wedding, and that the veiled figure entering the room in the background is Isabella d'Este. The Marchesa is attended possibly by her other daughter-in-law, Isabella of Capua, and a nun, Margherita Cantelma, Duchess of Sora (died 1532). Although the documentary evidence is persuasive, final visual confirmation is lacking.

The elegant figure of the maid pulling back the curtain may have been inspired by the sculptural figures on early funerary monuments, for example, on the tomb of Cardinal de Braye (died 1282) by Arnolfo di Cambio (Orvieto, San Domenico).