This delicate portrait of a woman is attributed to the Florentine portrait painter Francesco Furini, who was formed in the city by Matteo Rosselli; a trip to Rome in 1619 is documented. He would undergo the overwhelming influence of Caravaggio. When he returned to Florence, Galileo Galilei became his great admirer. He devoted himself to representing mythological and sacred subjects, always paying great attention to the female figure he was very attached to. Furini’s women are always soft and sensual, the compositions almost decadent, but this portrait may belong to a later phase of his production. Furini took his vows in 1633, dedicating himself to a more intimate painting, in a smaller format and often with a religious theme: the sensuality of the body here gives way to the softness of the face and the warmth of the tones used. The room format and the pathetic nature of the woman’s figure perhaps indicate a meditative or prayerful theme rather than a worldly one.
Bibl.: Ediz. Illustrata di M. Gregori, R. Maffeis (a cura di), Un’ altra bellezza. Francesco Furini, Catalogo della mostra (Firenze, 22 dicembre 2007-27 aprile 2008), Mandragora, 2007.