Portrait of Doña Isabel de Requesens, vicereine of Naples, formerly identified as Giovanna d'Aragona
with labels 'MAISON DE L'EMPEREUR/DOMAINE PRIVÉ DE S.M./no. 16' and 'N/TU[...]ERIES' (on the stretcher)
oil on canvas
4012 x 3312 in. (102.8 x 85.1 cm.)
in a Dutch 17th century carved and gilded Lutma frame, with imbricated fruit and acanthus leaves running from a sunflower cresting to a similar base
Emperor Napoleon III, The Imperial Household (according to old labels and the inventory number on stretcher).
Anonymous sale; Parke-Bernet, New York, 24 September, 1969, lot 83 as after Giulio Romano.
Anonymous sale; Christie's, New York, 15 May 1996, lot 118, as after Raphael, where acquired by the present owner.
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Lot Essay

With impressive provenance, having once belonged to Emperor Napoleon III, this painting is a copy after Raphael and Giulio Romano’s extravagant portrait, now in the Musée du Louvre, Paris. The Louvre painting was formerly thought to depict Giovanna d’Aragona but in fact represents Doña Isabel de Requesens, wife of Don Ramon Folc de Cardona I de Requesens, viceroy of Naples from 1509 to 1522. The portrait was commissioned from Raphael by Cardinal Bibbiena, a friend of the viceroy, on behalf of Pope Leo X as a diplomatic gift for King Francis I of France. According to Vasari, a cartoon for the portrait was prepared by Raphael who then sent his pupil, Giulio Romano, to Naples to execute the painting. All, that is, except for the face, which was completed by Raphael himself.

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