PIERO DI COSIMO
(b. 1462, Firenze, d. 1521, Firenze)
Portrait of Simonetta Vespuccic. 1480
Oil on panel, 57 x 42 cm
Musée Condé, Chantilly
Piero was frequently patronized by the most powerful families, for whom he executed not only permanent painted works, but also temporary designs for spectacular festivals. His portrait of the noted Florentine beauty Simonetta Vespucci shows his range as a painter and also exemplifies a certain type of commission for private families.
The portrait represents the death of Cleopatra which belongs to the category of celebrated women of antiquity who committed suicide, such as more virtuous names like Lucretia.