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Lady with an Ermine - Obiekt - VisitMalopolska

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Dama z gronostajem

Lady with an Ermine

Dama z gronostajem, Leonardo da Vinci. Muzeum Narodowe w Krakowie

ul. Pijarska 15, 31-017 Kraków Tourist region: Kraków i okolice

The Lady with an Ermine is one of the most famous paintings created by Leonardo da Vinci, an Italian painter and scholar of the Renaissance. It is also the only work of this artist featured in Polish collections. The model, who posed for the portrait, was most probably Cecilia Gallerani, court lady to Duke Ludovico Sforza of Milan and one of his mistresses.

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.