Laura - Giorgione. 41 x 34 cm
The portrait of an unknown dark-haired girl, Laura, is Giorgione's only accurately dated work. If we don't know anything about heroin, where did the name Laura come from? The play of words is all to blame, and the idea of this master of the Byzantine Renaissance was spied on by Leonardo Da Vinci. Behind the heroine’s back, the master depicted a laurel tree, hence the name: laurel - Laura.
Many researchers reacted to the portrait with close attention, trying to find out who this stranger was. Opinions were expressed that the painting depicts the famous lover of Petrarch, Laura de Nov, but it is known that she was blonde, and in the portrait we see a cute brunette. There is also an opinion that Laura is a collective image, or Giorgione painted a portrait of a courtesan (especially since the most common pseudonyms for girls with a similar kind of activity were Lauuretta and Laura). In defense of this hypothesis, the fact that Giorgione was a well-known lover of love joys (according to Vasari) can serve. And one more nuance: it was the courtesans who preferred outfits with fur to the body. In the picture we see that the heroine is dressed in such clothes.
If we compare the picture with other works of that time, then we can note that the portrait is quite modest in size. The composition of the picture is not particularly innovative, but the color, on the contrary, causes burning interest.
Many researchers like to compare the style of Giorgione’s writing in this work with the style of Leonardo - explicit mitigation of transitions due to midtones, black and white elements resembling the “Leonardo” sfumato, etc.
At first glance, the girl in the picture seems rustic: a round face with puffy cheeks, a hairstyle with even parting, a large nose. However, a stubborn look, slightly pursed lips and a strong-willed character of the heroine, which Giorgione was able to catch, radically change her attitude towards her.
Giorgione placed his heroine on a black background, only the laurel tree brings some kind of revival, but thereby Laura’s skin seems even whiter, and the image becomes more fragile. One can imagine that once this girl was romantic and naive, until life circumstances tempered her character. The headscarf covers the girl’s head, while the transparent fabric casually falls on Laura’s very open neckline, like a snake wrapping around her chest. A special emphasis is placed on the fur coat - rich red, wine color completes the slender composition.
Having examined and studied everything in detail, you are finally convinced that Laura is beautiful, and you only sigh with admiration and contemplation of this impeccable beauty ...