of a Young Woman (Laura)
canvas, 41 x 33,5 cm
Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum
Giorgione's half-length portrait of a semi-nude young woman in a fur-lined coat may depict a courtisan. The inscription on the back of the painting makes this one of the very few works by Giorgione where attribution and date are not controversial. The laurels behind her head may be read as a hidden reference to the sitter's name, or as an attribute of poetry. As Venetian double-portraits of lovers or a married couple frequently include laurels as symbols of their fidelity and chastity, the existance of a now-lost companion-piece depicting "Mister Giacomo", the patron who commissioned the portrait and who is named on the reverse of the picture, has also been suggested.
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