Portrait of a Young Woman as a Wise Virgin Sebastiano del Piombo Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Portrait of a Young Woman as a Wise Virgin is a commissioned artwork that was produced by Renaissance artist Sebastiano del Piombo

The model used here by artist Sebastiano is clearly the same lady as that used in Salome, with again the same bright blue dress. The material of this dress helps to refect light around the rest of the composition, which is perhaps why it was specifically chosen.

The pose is, hoever, different and she also sits besides a table which adds a certain balance to the portrait. The artist chose in this painting to leave the background very subtle to ensure that the focus of the viewer is not distracted from the theme of the artwork. In Salome though he returns to his common approach of producing a Giorgione-esque landscape in the background.

Sebastiano del Piombo was, first and foremost, a portrait painter and that is what the majority of his donors would be attracted to, when commissioning new paintings. Landscape art during the Renaissance was still a relatively low level genre, tending to be used to support other parts of paintings. It was only later that artists would make successful careers from painting entire compositions of landscape scenery.