Nude Woman (Venus) by Costa Lorenzo

Nude Woman (Venus) by Costa Lorenzo

Acquired from antiquary Achille Glesenti in Brescia in 1895. Previously, she was in a private meeting in Milan. Exhibited in 1933 in Ferrara at the exhibition “Ferrara Renaissance.” For a long time, the specialists did not know to whom the picture was assigned. Many have suggested that it belongs to the artist’s brush from Mantua Lorenzo Leombruno, but now it is unanimously acknowledged that its author is Lorenzo Costa and it refers to the time of his stay in Mantua.

However, the assumption about the time of creation of the picture was erroneous, as there is another, not in doubt, picture of Costa, which also shows a nude woman standing in the same pose and which undoubtedly belongs to the Mantuan period. This Bologna picture is very much different from the Budapest one, for example in the type of face and in the proportions of the body.

It was believed that both paintings depicted Venus, but most likely, none of them is a goddess. Maybe the Bologna picture depicts the muse of Waist – such a conclusion can be made on the basis of attributes and similar images of that time. And the assumption that the Budapest picture depicts Venus, contrary to the fact that the scarf in the hands of a woman is calm, whereas in the paintings of artists of that time depicting Venus, the scarf is always waving from the wind. The naturalism in the figure of the figure indicates that this is an earlier work of Costa, and it could not have been written in the Mantuan period, when Costa’s writing style became more stylized and the theory took over the direct observation of the artist.

The argument in favor of the earlier creation of the Budapest picture was also brought by E. Pogan-Balazh, according to which Marcantonio Raimondi used our picture of Costa to create a female figure on his one engraving until 1505. Paintings depicting naked women in full growth, spread throughout Italy in imitation of the Florentines, and primarily under the influence of Botticelli.

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