Favorite decades: 1910's, 1800's, 1870's
Favorite artists: Anthony van Dyck, Giovanni Boldini, Henry Fuseli, Thomas Lawrence
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Profile Portrait of a Young Lady by Antonio del Pollaiuolo, 1465 Italy, Gemäldegalerie
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Penthesilea as one of the Nine Female Worthies by anonymous, 1460’s France, Bibliothèque nationale de France
In the Middle Ages, the Nine Worthies were nine historic, scriptural and legendary men who personified the virtue of chivalry. They included the three good pagans (Hector, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar), the three good Jews (Joshua, David, Judas Maccabeus), and the three good Christians (King Arthur, Charlemagne, Godfrey of Bouillon). By the early Renaissance there were also female Worthies, but they weren’t always named and, when they were named, were not always the same people. This particular illumination depicts Penthesilea, an Amazonian queen who fought for Troy during the Trojan War. It was typical of the time to show people from history wearing contemporary clothing.