|The Portrait of Simonetta Vespucci is a painting from c. 1480, which portrays noted Genoese beauty Simonetta Vespucci as Cleopatra with an asp around her neck. It is housed in the Musée Condé of Chantilly, France.
Simonetta is partly nude, and her rhythmic profile is accentuated by the black cloud placed behind it. She wears a gold necklace, around which two snakes coil, possibly an allusion to her death from consumption.
Piero's art reflects his bizarre, misanthropic personality. He belonged to no school of painting. Instead, he borrowed frommany artists, incorporating elements of their style into his own idiosyncratic manner.
'Here, Piero di Cosimo has chosen a portrait type which was already outmoded by the time he came to paint it (c. 1520). The profile view may have been borrowed from a medal portrait used by Piero as a model, since Simonetta Vespucci, whose latinized name appears on the strip along the bottom of the painting, had died of consumption in 1476.
Piero di Cosimo, The Portrait of Simonetta Vespucci,
c. 1480, Musée Condé of Chantilly, France.
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