Meet the ravishing Velata (The Woman With A Veil) by Raffaello Sanzio (Urbino 1483 - Rome 1520), oil on canvas, cm 82 x 60,5. It dates back to 1512-1515, following Raffaello’s move from Florence to Rome. It can be found in the Jupiter Room at the Palatine Gallery in Pitti Palace. Art historian Ettore Camesasca once called it “Portrait of a sleeve”. In this sleeve, in fact, you can find the very same palette you'll then find throughout the rest of the painting. The portrait is made up of greys, whites and golds, which portray a sophisticated, elegant noblewoman with light skin and dark features. One can tell her status from the exquisite gown and jewels; the veil covering her hair – as well as her gold and precious gems, symbols of love and faith - indicates that the woman is married. According to Giorgio Vasari (1550, 1568), who observed the painting in the house of merchant Matteo Botti in Florence, the work features Margherita Luti, known as "La Fornarina" (baker), who Raffaello loved: but this seems quite unlikely, as Margherita Luti was a peasant..!
Isn't it incredible how Raffaello could construct an image such as this using only white tones, reintroducing the image of the flax (veil) and creating the illusion of taffeta in her luxurious dress..? This, alongside the Saturn Room’s Madonna of the Chair, are the Palatine Gallery’s crowning jewels, proving Raffaello’s finessed style. Allow me to unveil this treasures for you..!