Giovanni Ambrogio de Predis: Portrait of Bianca Maria Sforza (1493-95)

(National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., USA)

A painting by the Italian artist Giovanni Ambrogio de Predis (1455-1508). The lady on this painting is Bianca Maria Sforza (1472-1510), daughter of Duke Galeazzo Maria Sforza of Milan and Bona of Savoy. Bianca Maria Sforza was first married to her cousin Duke Philibert I of Savoy (1465-1482) but when her husband died she married with Holy Roman emperor Maximilian I in 1494, becoming his second wife -Giovanni Ambrogio de Predis was the court artist in Milan and this painting was propably made and send to Maximilian so he could see his new bride to be. The marriage of Maximilian with Bianca Maria was a very unhappy one and Maximilian (Maximilian considered her uneducated, talkative, naive, wasteful with money and careless) increasingly ignored Bianca Maria - the marriage between the two was for political reasons: her uncle Ludovico Maria Sforza who arranged the marriage hoped to be instated as duke of Milan by Maximilian I while Maximilian wanted to increase his influence in Milan. Bianca Maria died in 1510, her husband Maximilian didn't even bothered to attend her funeral or dedicate a gravestone to her. A sideview such as this is typical for Italian portraits. Painting from 1493-1495.