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The word "Fornarina" in translation means "baker", and his beloved Raphael owed them the profession of his father. There are two versions of the legend about her. The first says that Raphael met her in Rome and fell in love without memory. Having bought the girl for 3000 gold from her father, he settled her in a villa specially bought for her, and, every time he was in Rome, he visited her.
However, Fornarina was not loyal and often looked at the artist’s students and his customers, which, however, did not prevent her from remaining his muse for twelve years, until his death (evil tongues say that Raphael died in her bed). After that, having received an inheritance, she led a dissolute lifestyle, but in old age she repented and went to the monastery, where her real name was indicated in the papers, and she herself indicated herself as the widow of Raphael.
The second version says that everything said in the first is not true, that Fornarina was practically a saint, and that Rafael kept faithfulness all her life, and their love itself was tender and pure, not darkened by anything.
It’s impossible to say exactly how everything really was.
Even Fornarina cannot clarify anything. On it a girl is depicted sitting under a myrtle tree. She is naked, but shyly and neatly covered by a thin transparent fabric, which can be either an indication of her character or the artist’s irony over her lifestyle. On her left forearm, she has a wide bracelet with his name, her hair is tied in a complex hairdo.
She looks a little to the side, smiling slyly, and in this expression on her face one feels so much tenderness, so much filigree accuracy of transmission, that there is no doubt that Rafael loved her. Her body is a little yellowish, as if she was lit by a candle or an oil lamp.
Chanting her, Raphael also chants love in general, its beauty and purity, which do not depend on who has become the object of love.
Description Pictures Portrait of the Sisters of the Shishmarevs