Giovanni Battista Moroni: Portrait of a Lady ('La Dama in Rosso'), (1556-1560)

(National Gallery, London, UK)

Giovanni Battista Moroni (1520/24-1579) was an Italian painter who is best known for his realistic portraits. This beautiful portrait is a good example of his work. The lady on the painting is perhaps Lucia Albani, the wife of count Faustino Avogadro of Brescia. She has exquisit (and very expensive) red satin dress and an underlay skirt of yellow-gold (the skirt is woven and perhaps has real gold-thread woven into it). The red carmine dye for the dress was made from cochineal insects from the New World so only people who were very wealthy could afford this. In her left hand she holds a early type of fan. Painting from 1556-60.