10 Replies to “Eye Candy for Today, Bernardino Luini portrait”

  1. I think she has a thimble on her right thumb. I’m surprised you didn’t comment on those eyes, Charley!

  2. I’m not sure the ferret is a fashion accessory. I think it is alive and is a pet – Charley, remember one of the paintings you posted earlier of a lady (created about the same time period) who was holding what appeared to be a mink or weasel? Wasn’t that a Di Vinci?

    Anyway, the furry critter seems more alive than the lady — she has no twinkle in her eyes, no reflections. The creature in question is obviously on a lease and is kinda …. not happy.

    Maybe she wears a thimble because her pet bites?

  3. My search is rewarded today when I found the Italian word for the furry and toothy accessory the lady is wearing. It’s called a Zibellino. The traditional costume historian’s term for this accessory, flea-fur, is from the German Flohpelz, coined by Wendelin Boeheim in 1894, who was the first to suggest that the furs were intended to attract fleas away from the body of the wearer. I still maintain that Luini’s painting of hands and fingers is lame.

  4. I meant to type “leash” not lease, but maybe the Zibellino was borrowed after all. 😉 What an interesting piece of fashion history, a flea-fur! But wouldn’t it only work if the creature was still alive? Then again, people long ago held strange beliefs not necessarily based on science.

    And Luini didn’t have a strong understanding of how to paint human hands. Stylizing would provide a remedy.

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