145.—St. Justin and Alphonso I of Ferrara (Moretto)details

[Picture: 145.—St. Justin and Alphonso I of Ferrara (Moretto)]
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145.—St. Justin and Alphonso I of Ferrara (Moretto), in Ferrara, Emilia-Romagna, Italy more

saints, mythical creatures, unicorns, people, religion, iconography


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145.—St. Justin and Alphonso I of Ferrara (Moretto)

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St. Justina is shown here with the unicorn, representing chasitity or virginity. The original painting by Bonvicino of Brescia (Il Moretto) was in Venice. This is the St, Justina of the Belvedere.

She stands in a landscape; one hand sustains her drapery, the other holds her palm; she looks down, with an air of saintly dignity blended with the most benign sweetness, on a kneeling votary. (p. 576)

The book goes on to say:

There is a tradition relative to this picture which greatly enhances its nterest; it is said to represent Alphonso I. of Ferrara at the feet of Donna Laura Eustochio: she was a beautiful woman of low origin, whom Alphonso married after the death of Lucretia Borgia; some say she had been his mistress, butthis is not certain; and, at all events, when Duchess of Ferrara she won by her virtues the respect and love of all classes: the people of Ferrara held her in such reverence, that once, when threatened by an inundation, they imputed their preservation solely to her prayers. (pp. 577ff.)

There is also a picture of jut the unicorn.


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