Dama z gronostajem
Lady with an Ermine
According to sources, the ermine which was painted in the portrait, commonly referred to as the Ermellino Bianco, constitutes a reference to the Order of the Ermine, which the Duke received from the King of Naples. The painting is a part of the Polish collection thanks to Adam Jerzy Czartoryski, the son of Duchess Izabela Czartoryska, who bought the work in Italy around the year 1800 and donated it to the museum in Puławy. The painting saw numerous vicissitudes of fate – it was moved many times, and during the wars, it was deposited abroad. Eventually, it returned to Kraków in 1946. As of now, the painting has its permanent home in the Princes Czartoryski Museum in Kraków and belongs to the collection of the National Museum in Kraków as the most precious work in the Polish collection. The portrait was painted by Leonardo da Vinci ca. 1490 in Milan. It is commonly believed to be the greatest achievement of portrait painting of the 15th century. It is a unique treasure of the world of art, characterised by worldwide fame and renown – a must-see for every visitor coming to Kraków.