La Belle Ferronnière oil painting by Leonardo da Vinci at the age of 38

made out of oil paint and walnut panel from 1490 to 1496

62 x 44 cms (241/4 x 171/4 ins)

The Louvre Paris, France, Europe

now closed opens again on Tuesday at 09:00 more info

La belle ferronnière is a name given to a portrait in The Louvre of a woman, usually attributed to Leonardo da Vinci. It is also known as Portrait of an Unknown Woman. The painting's title, applied as early as the seventeenth century, identifying the sitter as the wife or daughter of an ironmonger (a ferronnier), was said to be discreetly alluding to a reputed mistress of Francis I of France, married to a certain Le Ferron. The tale is a romantic legend of revenge in which the aggrieved husband intentionally infects himself with syphilis, which he passes to the king through infecting his wife.

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1490

Leonardo da Vinci breaks off his studies on flight and does not resume them till 1505.
Michelangelo studies from the frescoes of Masaccio at the Carmine with other students of the Medicean Academy.
Pietro Torrigiano breaks the nose of Michelangelo in argument while drawing in the Carmine, smashing it so hard that it never heals. The incident is described in a passage from Cellini's autobiography.
Leonardo da Vinci meets and adopts Giocomo Salai, a 10-year-old boy.

January 13

'Paradise' is performed in the court of Ludovico Sforza in Milan.

April 23

Leonardo da Vinci begins work on a new codex and resumes work on The Horse.

May 18

On the Palagio degli Strozzi they now placed the first cornice, below the bozzi rough projecting stones), at the _Canto de' Tornaquinci_, always beginning at this corner before the others.

June 2

They set up the crane for raising the stones, always at the _Canto_.

June 11

They placed the first _bozzo_ (rough block of stone) on the said palagio.

June 15

Leonardo da Vinci goes to Pavia with Francesco di Giorgio Martini to advise on the construction of the cathedral.

June 27

I, Luca Landucci, opened my new shop, here opposite the said palagio of the Strozzi, and I chose the sign of the _Stelle_ (Stars). The old shop at the other corner, which I left, belongs to the Rucellai, whist this one belongs to the Popoleschi.

September 21

In Santa Maria del Fiore a stone half as big as a mule's pack fell from one of the rough windows high up on the cupola, towards the sacristy where the priests robe themselves; it fell just at the side of the choir. It happened at the hour when the priests robe themselves to say vespers, but although the church was already full of people, it hurt no one, which was a marvellous thing. God was pleased to be so gracious.

October 19

The bronze dragon was placed on the Palazzo Strozzi.(1) > (1) To understand and correct where necessary these notices, it will perhaps be a help to refer to the above-mentioned Tribaldo de' Rossi: "20th October, 1490, I record that at the palace which Filippo Strozzi is having built, the builders put up the _campanella_ at the corner which is opposite the _Loggia de' Tornaquinci_, that is to say - the _campanella del Serpente_ ...."

December 22

The chapel, that is, the _Capella Maggiore_, of Santa Maria Novella was opened. Domenico del Grillandaio had painted it, at the order of Giovanni Tornabuoni. And the choir of carved wood was also made round the chapel. The painting alone cost 1000 gold florins.

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Francesco di Giorgio Martini military engineer, architect, painter
Leonardo da Vinci anatomist, painter, architect, sculptor, military engineer, scientist, inventor, writer
Luca Landucci apothecary, diarist
Masaccio painter
Michelangelo military engineer, sculptor, painter, architect, poet
Rucellai family
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