5 extraordinary women from iconic paintings

Images of these women are carved deeply into our minds.One way or another we have seen their faces. Whether we’ve seen them in museums or some kind of cheap commercials. But have you ever asked yourself: why they have been featured through history? What is hidden behind this masterpieces?

Were their real lives as extraordinary as their lives after their deaths?

1. Sandro Botticelli “The Birth of Venus”

Picture from Wikipedia

Starring Simonetta Cattaneo Vespucci. Simonetta was born in very wealthy family. Got married at the age of 16 (it wasn’t that early, by the way) to Marco Vespucci (yes, yes! He was related to the Amerigo). Their marriage took place at the palazzo of the Medici family. In a short period of time every man was fascinated by this remarkable woman. Including Sandro Botticelli and Lorenzo and Giuliano Medici. There is even an opinion, that Giuliano and Simonetta were lovers, however no one actually knows it. As for Botticelli, young dive became his muse till the very end of his life. She died in the age of 23, and The Birth of Venus was finish only 9 years after that sad event. Botticelli was buried at her feet in the Church of Ognissanti 34 years later. 

 

2. Leonardo da Vinci “Lady with an Ermine”

Picture from Wikipedia

Cecilia Gallerani was the mistress of Ludovico Sforza (the Duke of Milan and Leonardo’s employer). Cecilia was hither nobel nor wealthy. She was promised to be married to a nobelman from the Visconti house at the age of 10, but the marriage was called off when she reached the age of 14. She was sent into convent. Where she met (supposedly accidentally or not?) the Duke. Cecilia got pregnant and the Duke moved her into the palace. Due to his social status, Duke had to marry a woman from wealthy family. What can we say? Men… Even after Ludovico married Beatrice d’Este, Cecilia continued to live in the Porta Giovia.Of course only until Beatrice found out about the nature of their relationship. Cecilia had to leave the castle. However, the Duke arranged her to be married to Count Ludovico Carminati de’ Brambilla. She gave her husband 4 children. She had a first art salon in Europe and was described as patron of the arts. After her husband’s death and war, she lost her house and found a shelter at the house of Duke’s wife’s sister (She must have had an incredible communicative skills).

3. Boris Kustodiev “Merchants Wife”

Galina Aderkas was actually much slimmer, that she appears on the painting. It was kind of hard as the painting was created during the lean 1918 year. When such an abundance was nothing more than a fantasy. She was an actual baroness and a student in medical school. After graduating from school, she worked as a surgeon for a few years. Then she abandoned her profession and worked as a chorist. She got married and found her true vocation in a circus. Why not?

4. Pablo Picasso’s portraits of Marie-Thérèse Walter

picasso

She was young and beautiful, when Picasso fell in love with her and began to actively paint her portraits (But, honestly, I’d run away after I saw the first result of these sessions). This particular painting – is just one of many. But is you see a woman-fluke with eyes on hr cheek and 20 fingers sticking out from her underarm, and all of it is painted in bright happy colors – it’s definitely her! After 8 years of this incredible creative work, she had a daughter. By the time the child was 1 year old, Picasso already had another lover. When two women demanded him to choose between them, he offered them to fight for him. Meaning fistfight! Why you would ask? He need some inspiration for Guernica. And she had to forgive him. Short after his death, she hang herself.

5. Édouard Manet “Olympia”

Edouard_Manet_-_Olympia_-_Google_Art_Project

Born in a family of a patinator of bronzes a milliner, she was far from a princess. One day she was just sitting in front of her house and playing guitar, when one artist decided to paint her. And then another one. But she was in love with the third one. She earned her money by giving guitar and violin lessons. But in time she decided to learn art herself. But she was amazed by the classic approach and found another painter. Bummer! Sorry, Edouard. She became quite popular. Her works even were presented at the same saloon as works of Olympia’s author. Furthermore, in 1876 her works were accepted to Salon des Paris. Bummer. Monet’s paintings weren’t. She never got married. Instead the found herself a lesbian soulmate and they lived happily for many many years.

 

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