Dossi's Lucrezia Borgia?
This painting, which Australia's National Gallery of Victoria bought in 1965 as a Portrait of a Youth by an unknown artist, is now claimed to be a portrait of the infamous Lucrezia Borgia by Dosso Dossi (1490-1542). On what evidence? The face bears a "striking resemblance" to a profile of Lucrezia on a bronze medal made in 1502, according to conservator Carl Villis. Yes ... well ... er ... mm. So Dosso would have been 12 years old when he painted Lucrezia, would he? A prodigy, obviously. The hairstyle and face are girlish, and an artist would be inclined to place a young female sitter against a background of flowers. (She hasn't been deflowered yet, lads). But why should little Miss Borgia be wearing such sombre, boyish apparel? Sorry, Carl; I think you're seeing what you want to see.