"Дама за туалетом" Джулио Романо в свете социальной истории искусства
The so-called Lady at her Toilette by Giulio Romano from the Moscow Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts has been conventionally regarded as an imitation of famous Fornarina by Raphael. Social aspect of its origins have not been explored and its function has been defined only generally as a portrait or a depiction of “courtesan” or “mistress”, the issues of its possible patron and original context have not been assessed. Close examination of Lady at her Toilette’s distinct visual details dismisses the seeming similarities with frivolous female images of its to=ine known as belle and reveals strong affinities with painterly wedding epithalamia, which clearly indicates its own function as a wedding painting presenting Venus bestowing blessing upon a new bride. Established the work’s function in general, it has been attempted to define a possible patron of this wedding epithalamia. Giulio Romano’s artistic career shows his involvment to the wedding of the Duke of Mantua Federico II Gonzaga and Margherita Paleologa, which took place in 1531. As a court painter Giulio was responsible for major decorative works in the city and created, among other, the bride’s portrait (Royal Collection, Hampton Court, London). This portrait turns out to be the closest analogy to the Moscow “Lady” in terms of composition, style, painterly manner and even the facial features of women. This, along with other similarities, unequivocally indicates that they were created as a set — as a wedding set, that includes the portrait of young spouse and the allegorical depiction of Venus.