mardi 25 février 2014

Swabian's Portrait of a Woman of the Hofer Family

 Swabian's Portrait of a Woman of the Hofer Family 

The official title of this painting is Portrait of a Woman of the Hofer Family, and it was painted around 1470 by an unknown artist from the "Swabian" area of Europe. Never heard of Swabia? In the middle ages, it covered an area including southern Germany, part of Switzerland, and part of France.

The painting is not signed, and has not been attributed to a specific artist. The woman in the portrait in not known either, other than she is from the Hofer Family, as indicated by the text in the top left corner, "Geborne Hoferin," which means "born a Hofer." Our guess would be that it was a wealthy family known in the Swabian region at the time. But don't you think the woman and/or family would be mad at this artist for painting her with a fly on her head?

Perhaps not ... because the fly might have been included as a symbolic element. The woman is holding a "forget-me-not" flower, and flies have been known to be a symbol of mortality, so it could be possible that this artist is using these symbols as an expression of rememberance for this woman after she has died.

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