Lady-With-an-Ermine

Artwork Asks
  • Mona Lisa: Do you like to look neat and orderly? How long does it take for you to get ready for the day?
  • Starry Night: Do you enjoy watching the sky and daydreaming?
  • The Scream: How easy/hard is it for someone to startle or make you lose focus?
  • The Persistence of Memory: Do some people consider you to be a weird or strange person?
  • Girl with a Pearl Earring: Do you like to wear jewelry? What are your favorite pieces of jewelry and approximately how much are they worth?
  • The Last Supper: Are you religious at all?
  • Guernica: Is the world "Black and White" to you?
  • American Gothic: Would you like to lead a simple and happy life? Or do you prefer adventure?
  • The Creation of Adam: What is your favorite story from Mythology? Do you have any favorite Fables or Fairytales?
  • The Birth of Venus: Do you like to be in the spotlight?
  • David: Are you the bold type? Do want your ideas and thoughts to be heard all around the world?
  • A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte: Do you take time out of your day to kick back and relax? Where can people find you if so?
  • No. 5, 1948: Do you tend to break away from traditions and cultural norms? Are you the rebellious type?
  • Pietà: Name something that tugs at your heartstrings.
  • Venus De Milo: Do you believe that everyone deserves a second chance, no matter what they've been through in the past?
  • The Thinker: Do you often find yourself getting lost in thought? What is it usually about?
  • The Great Wave off Kanagawa: Do you like the Ocean?
  • Water Lily Pond: What are your favorite flowers?
  • Capitoline Wolf: What is your relationship with animals? Do you like them? What is your favorite animal?
  • Winged Victory of Samothrace: Do you strive to meet your goals and never give up on them?
  • Nighthawks: Are you a night owl or a early bird?
  • Lady with an Ermine: Do you have any pets? Would you like to have pets? If so, what would your dream pet be?
  • Wanderer above the Sea of Fog: Do you tend to get lost easily?
  • Napoleon Crossing the Alps: Are you a brave and daring individual? Would you fight for freedom if you had to?
  • The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp: Do you value your ability to get an education?
  • Christina's World: Is there anything you long for?
  • Washington Crossing the Delaware: Do you want to make an impact on this world? What do you want to be remembered for?

Leonardo da Vinci, Salvator Mundi, 1500


This painting by da Vinci, recently attributed to him after extensive restoration, is a rare and (I think) beautiful example of his outstanding talent as a painter. A little detail in this work that I find particularly interesting is da Vinci’s inclusion of what art historians have called “Leonardo’s Knots.” Żygulsky identifies three distinct types of knot motifs used repeatedly by da Vinci, including “double loops in figure-of-eight form repeated in an endless system” (1). A similar design is visible in the the three flourishes beneath the oval-shaped stone and semi-circular surrounding band at the centre of Christ’s chest. da Vinci used the same lemniscate-shaped knots in the black band on the collar of Cecilia Gallerani’s dress in Lady with an Ermine from 1489-1490 (2). The symmetrical gold design on Christ’s blue robe is also similar to the gold on red banding in Lady with an Ermine, the geometric designs on the angel’s sleeve in the National Gallery Virgin of the Rocks (between 1491 and 1508), and along the collar of the Mona Lisa (1503-1506). 

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2

Jerzy Kosalka, 1955, Poland.  “Good-bye Ladies and Gentlemen”, 2004.

Lady with an Ermine has become an inspiration for a work with an ironic take… The juxtaposition of the young woman and an animal in Leonardo da Vinci’s painting has led to numerous interpretations of the work.  One of the most popular is that the ermine represents Ludovico Sforza, the lover of the lady in the painting.  Jerzy Kosalka has freed the animal from having to play the role of an interpretative pointer.