Portrait of Doña Isabel de Requesens y Enríquez de Cardona-Anglesola is a circa 1518 oil painting by Giulio Romano. The painting was originally commissioned from Raphael, who however was too busy to undertake it and despatched his ablest pupil to execute it instead. We have this on the authority of Raphael himself. It's possible the painting was executed from an original cartoon by Raphael and it's likely that the head was reworked by Raphael.
Doña Isabel, vicereine of Naples, was a celebrated beauty of the age and this monumental life-size portrait is important because of its frank sensuality, the hair loosed and the knees akimbo, representing a new milestone in Italian female imagery. The deep red velvet of the robe was the colour of love for Petrarch, the poet whose infatuation with Laura defined ideal love for his age. Originally the painting was thought to be a portrait of Joanna of Aragon, always implausible because she was just sixteen years old and unmarried at the time; an overtly sensuous portrait like this thus quite unthinkable. It was established definitively as the Doña Isabel in 1997.
Of the three images we show, the first two on the left was uploaded by the Wikimedia Commons editor DCoetzee. The leftmost of these comes from the Center for Research and Restoration of Museums of France (C2RMF). Among their activities is the dissemination of very high resolution images of works of art. You can see the original webpage for this painting here. Note that you while you can zoom the image to any desired degree of resolution, if you attempt to download the image you will only receive the bit you are looking at. To get the whole image at full resolution, DCoetzee used special processing. Notice also that while the image is beautiful, it is nevertheless rather dull. The robe, for example, is not as intensely red as it ought to be. DCoetzee attempted to redress that in the middle retouched image, but all he really succeeded in doing was to introduce a pronounced yellow color cast. The image on the right, uploaded by Coat, is the official Louvre image and the one used by Joanna Woods-Marsden in her essay in David Alan Brown's Virtue and Beauty we base our discussion above. Coat's version is perhaps a little too saturated, but that it is a better image is clear from Flickr photographs such as this which confirm the robe really is as intensely red and the cheeks as rosy.
DCoetzee is the editor who got into difficulties with the National Portrait Gallery over the special processing he used to download high resolution images. The dispute is documented here. Our useless banned lawyers tell us that if there is any substance to the NPG complaint at all, then it lies in rather recondite European Union database law. DCoetzee is now banned by the Wikimedia Foundation from editing on any of its projects. We, along with everyone else it seems, are not privy to the details, but (at the time of writing this)* we had no reason to believe or suspect that the reason for the ban was anything else other than the legal problems his edits have presented to the Foundation, who nevertheless have made no effort to take down these images that quite a lot of our circle happen to consider simple theft. For what it's worth, Coat rather liked DCoetzee and used special processing herself quite regularly in her Commons uploads.
*Unfortunately, (December 2015) we have to express a reservation after reading a discussion elsewhere. The issues, however, are not copyright issues.
Hafspajen nominated the Romano painting as a Raphael painting on the 18 July 2014. The image she selected was the middle of the three above, the retouched high resolution version. Featured Pictures nominations require you to explain the Educational Value (EV) of the nomination. Hafspajen is amongst those nominators who like to tuck in een klein beetje of Art History from their extensive expertise as well. Her final version, as we shall see, differs rather a lot from her first effort we quote immediately below:
Raphael was an Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance. His work is together with Michelangelo
and Leonardo da Vinci, considered as the best of great masters of the Renaissance. Giovanna d'Aragona
(1502–1575) was a young duchess, a patron of the arts, in Naples during the Renaissance. The young
woman depicted, Giovanna d'Aragona or Jeanne d'Aragon is the real-life Duchess of Malfi, her life ended in
This painting is one of Raphael's women portrait, showing the skill the master had accumulated in depicting
textile, texture and portaits.
The articles she cites that feature this painting are Giovanna d'Aragona, Duchy of Alvito, and Ramón de Cardona. She would have got these links from the Commons description of the image. If she had bothered to check either of the two last articles, she would have saved herself a great deal of subsequent grief, as they identify the painting as a portrait of the Doña Isabel and not Giovanna d'Aragona.
As for the toetje of Art History Hafspajen contributes, the huge service she does us in instructing us dreuzels that Raphael, Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci are considered pretty serious hot shit by art historians such as herself is surely scarcely impacted by the trifles 1 the painting is not by Raphael 2 the portrait is not of Giovanna d'Aragona, and in any case 3 she was not the tragic real-life Duchess of Malfi.
Coat opposed the nomination because the image had been digitally processed. In fact all DCoatzee had really done was to "equalize the histogram", introducing the evident yellow color cast in the image. She was quite robust in her disdain because the group had been through all this over Olympia. Hafspajen, who by this time was canvassing Coat's Talk page, was reasonably conciliatory in her response, although she misrepresented the issue as one of restoration. She suggested the original unretouched C2RMF image (top leftmost) as an alternative and Coat readily acquiesced. Hafspajen objected, however, to Coat displaying the Louvre image (top rightmost) in the discussion and her responses grew more agressive. True to form she began to canvas Aaij extensively on the issue. When Coat (who had simply done some research; she knew sweet Fanny Adams about Renaissance art) cheerfully advised Hafspajen that the painting wasn't by Raphael and wasn't a portrait of Giovanna d'Aragona, she went stratospheric (the point being that her nomination no longer had EV). The following is worth recording for posterity we feel:
Coat: Raphael retouched the face because he was worried about the comparison his patron Francis I would make with the Mona Lisa, which he also owned. It was not a portrait of the Duchess of Malfi, but rather the wife of the viceroy of Naples, a very celebrated beauty of the time. Raphael couldn't undertake the commission, so he sent his pupil Giulio Romano instead. It couldn't possibly be a portrait of Jeanne d'Aragon (Duchess of Malfi) because she was no older than sixteen at the time and the painting is clearly sensuous (erotic) in accordance with Francis 1's avowed taste in portraiture. Even an image of her with her hair tumbling down would have been quite unthinkable for a sixteen year unmarried girl, not to mention its other features that would not have escaped the attention of a medieval masturbator. HTH. And yes, it's a beautiful painting. What a shame the image you propose to feature is so completely hideous.
Lady Lune of Lund (sensing a kill): What a shame that you are using such words as completely hideous and medieval masturbator that you are still editing the nomination after being asked several times not to, and what a shame that you are a truly disruptive editor, but nobody dares tell you that.
... and adding: And - you are assuming above a great deal. People in the Middle Ages and Renaissance were getting married when 14 - 15 and cetainly a painting of a girl at the of 16 in the Renaissance should be clearly sensuous because it was an age when girls were about to marry. Not American standards.
Hafspajen artfully revised her presentation thus:
Portrait of Dona Isabel de Requesens, Lady Viceroy of Naples, formerly known as Portrait of Jeanne d’Aragon. This work is now attributed to Raphael (Raffaello Santi), and even Giulio Romano a pupil of Raphael. Raphael was an Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance. Together with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael was considered as the best of great masters of the Renaissance. It was not unusual that great masters had a workshop, when they became famous - usually the master painted the face and hands and the more elaborate details, while the pupil will paint the background, and less important parts of the peainting. The portrait is showing skill depicting the portrait, textile and textures.
It bombed anyway, despite the support of Woodrich, Sagaciousphil, and Fybelcatulous During all this time Coat's comments had been self-evidently light hearted. If Hafspajen had continued with the original C2RMF image she had proposed as an alternative and Coat supported, the nomination would have gone forward without her further research and the whole world and their Ma Googles would even now be marvelling at Hafpajen's triumphant triple gold star discovery of Raphael's famous portrait of the Duchess of Malfi. Alas it was not to be. Hafspajen love bombed his wikijuffie of the day shit loads of puppy poop, posted her assessment of Coat's appreciation of Art History on Aaij's Talk page (copied above) and went off on a two week sulk . Aaij called in the death squads...