Tributo a Raffaello Sanzio


(2022), oil on canvas, 20×20



Here is my small tribute to one of the greatest Masters of the sixteenth century, Raffaello Sanzio, a detail of his Portrait of a gentlewoman known as “la Muta” which he painted between 1505 and 1509, and which is located in the Galleria Nazionale delle Marche, Palazzo Ducale di Urbino, which I had the privilege of visiting on a Sunday last spring.
The gentlewoman portrayed by Raphael is most likely Giovanna Feltria della Rovere, (1463-1513) daughter of Federico da Montefeltro and mother of Francesco Maria I della Rovere, Duke of Urbino from 1508 to 1538, also known as Raphael’s protector.
But this hypothesis does not seem feasible, because in the years of the painting’s execution, Giovanna would have been over forty years old (and had six pregnancies behind her), too old for the woman portrayed.
This enigmatic lady probably owes her nickname “Muta” to her perfectly sealed lips.