Masterpiece Stories

Bartolomeo Veneto, Portrait of a Lady in a Green Dress

Zuzanna Stańska 9 July 2017 min Read

Have you ever heard about Bartolomeo Veneto? Only about 30 of his paintings survived. He was a contemporary of Titian, Veronese, and other masters of High Renaissance. The little information available about Bartolomeo’s life has been derived from his signatures, dates, and inscriptions. His best-known works are portraits or pictures with portrait-like character. Bartolomeo’s later works, and especially those done on commission in Milan, indicate an influence from Leonardo da Vinci.

Bartolomeo Veneto, Portrait of a Lady in a Green Dress, 1530, oil on panel, 85.9 x 67.6 cm (33-7/8 x 26-5/8 in.), Putnam Foundation, Timken Museum of Art.
Bartolomeo Veneto, Portrait of a Lady in a Green Dress, 1530, oil on panel, 85.9 x 67.6 cm (33-7/8 x 26-5/8 in.), Putnam Foundation, Timken Museum of Art.

This portrait, now housed at Timken Museum of Art in San Diego was painted a year before the artist’s death. It shows the sitter standing in front of a red curtain. She is dressed in the height of fashion with a headpiece of human hair decorated with blue and gold ribbon, suggesting she was a lady of considerable status. There is nothing else we know about this woman – who was she exactly? What attracts our attention for sure is her alluring gaze. She looks like a very intelligent, fierce young lady.

What was she thinking of while posing?

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