La Bella Principessa
Welcome to the website dedicated to La Bella Principessa.
She is a female portrait attributed to Leonardo da Vinci. It was rediscovered in the late twentieth century and its authorship has been discussed ever since.
The girl portrayed in profile is a 13th year old Bianca Sforza, illegitimate daughter of the Duke of Milan. She died early, in her teens years, and not much more about her was passed on to us. It is a portrait on vellum, executed in the technique of trois crayons (three chalks). Once, it was part of an illuminated volume, which was found in Warsaw, Poland…
La Sforziada, the early, illuminated print from 1490, describes the history of the powerful Sforza family. The portrait was once excised and glued onto a wooden panel. Later, in the 19th century, Principessa was also uniquely framed.
Where it was until it reappeared and why we did not know about its existence for centuries, are questions which remain to be answered. Nonetheless, the latest research shed light upon them…Resources