Portrait of a Woman (La Bella) is a portrait painting by Titian.
On May 2, 1536, the duke of Urbino, Francesco Maria della Rovere, wrote to his agent Giacomo Leonardi asking him to put pressure on Titian: he was waiting for the painter to finish "that portrait of that Woman in the blue dress" and send it to him. It is thought that the duke did not see the completed portrait painting until the January of 1538, when he was in Venice with his wife Eleonora Gonzaga and was about to be made commander-in-chief. The picture, known today as La Bella, represents a woman in a luxurious and elaborate dress, embellished with golden embroidery. From the cuff of the sleeves, adorned with little roses, protrudes a lace border, the same that runs around the neckline. She is also wearing a long necklace of gold. The use of one of the most costly of pigments, lapis lazuli, for the dress helps to reinforce the impression of richness and opulence. The painting is one of his non-formal portraits, works in which Titian was able to express himself with greater spontaneity, and can be compared with the Girl with a Fur Wrap (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna), for which he seems to have used the same model, as he may have done for the Venus of Urbino (Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence) as well. For many decades scholars have sought to identify the person portrayed, but nowadays critics tend to favor the hypothesis that she was an anonymous model.
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