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This imperious lady once looked down from the walls of the studiolo (study) at Belfiore, the hunting retreat belonging to the dukes of Ferrara, part of a decorative scheme showing the nine Muses. The theme was chosen by Leonello d’Este, Duke of Ferrara, and was begun by a painter called Angelo da Siena. After Leonello’s death in 1450 and Angelo’s in 1456, Leonello’s brother Borso hired Tura to produce the work.
Technical analysis reveals that Tura painted this image using oil paint over a different design, possibly by Angelo da Siena. The technique is flawless and suggests knowledge of the work of the Netherlandish artist Rogier van der Weyden.
Oil with egg on poplar
H 116.2 x W 71.1 cm
Layard Bequest, 1916