Raphael and the “Fornarina”


The misterious smile of the Famous Fornarina recalls the more famous one of the “Monna Lisa” by Leonardo, but is more….rich.
We think the Fornarina was  Margherita Luti, the daughter of Francesco Senese, a baker living in Trastevere, Rome (although a lot of evidences lead to that opinion this is not yet stated 100%).
Raphael, great painter, lover, angel face and full of charm, fell in love immediately with the beautiful Margaret and conceived some of the most beautiful paintings of the Renaissance thinking about her.A_detail_of_Raphael's_Fornarina's_Portrait
He dedicated her a portrait in which the woman, in the prime of life and beauty, look to the observer modestly,
partly covering her bare breasts with her hands, almost afraid to see her intimacy unveiled.
She wears a wedding ring on her finger, which is a mystery.  Raphael died suddenly at the age of 37, shortly after, Margherita asked to be admitted to the convent of St. Apollonia in Trastevere.
She claimed to be a widow, which suggests that he had secretly married the great painter. The ring on her  finger, the turban, the objects  visible behind the woman, seem to allude to their deep bond.
Another proof of their marriage bond may be given by a careful reading of Vasari, in his “Lives of Painters’” he says literally that Raphael loved her untill his death.Raphael's_veiled_woman

The Urbino painter portrayed Margherita in other famous paintings, one is now placed in the Pitti Gallery, titled “The veiled”, the similarity between the two faces is remarkable.
Probably  Raphael devoted to his beloved depicting her  allegorically, as two parts of love, the profane, represented by Fornarina, and sacred, represented by veiled.
The two pictures are of a lyrical beauty, moving.
In them you can see not only the skill of the painter, but a feeling of tenderness, affection for the model, only love can lead a person to make a master to perfection all his feelings as in the two paintings.

by Guia