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Saturday, July 24, 2010

"La Muta", The Silent One

 In the Palazzo Ducale, in a hall of the Galleria Nazionale delle Marche, you will find this mysterious portrait of an unknown gentlewoman.  Painted by Raphael around the year 1507 when he was in his early twenties (!), and measuring 64 x 48cm (25 x 19in), it is considered the Mona Lisa of the Marche.  For obvious reasons (see below), Raphael is believed to have been inspired by Da Vinci's great work which was painted between 1503 and 1506.

Like the paintings in haunted house cartoons, La Muta's eyes follow you around the room.  Make eye contact with her....lean a foot or two to the right of your computer......lean back.......yes? 

It's even spookier in person, especially as unlike the Mona Lisa where you are typically looking over the heads of a small mob, in the sparsely populated galleries of the Palazzo La Muta only has eyes for you.