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Tizians Porträt der Laura Dianti. Aneignung und Transformation zwischen Orient und Okzident

Author: Sabine Engel
[published in: IMAGE 28 Themenheft (Juli 2018)]

Oscillating between oriental and occidental elements Laura Dianti with a black page (c. 1523-1529) is one of the most fascinating portraits Titian ever painted. This paper analyses the influences of Ottoman culture and costume on this picture. Commissioned by Alfonso I d’Este, Duke of Ferrara, the portrait of his mistress, perhaps later on his third wife, was given as a present to Rudolph II, Holy Roman Emperor, in 1599. In the earliest inventory, written in Prague at that time, it was labeled as »A Turkish Woman with young Moor«. Numerous references to the oriental world can explain this misunderstanding. The black page himself, the first ever painted in a Renaissance portrait, as well as his clothes and those of Laura Dianti point to the Ottoman Empire. For example, her turban-like headgear with the enormous star can be considered as a clear derivation of Ottoman turbans of the sultans. Thus, in order to extinguish Laura’s humble origin as a milliner’s daughter, Titian created an oriental empress.
In 1980 Cecil Gould argued that Titian had not been interested in depicting different near-east ethnos, instead he merely painted the »exotic anthology«. In contrast, this paper reveals that Titian was an excellent connoisseur of the Ottoman world, knowing perfectly well how to converge oriental elements with better known western ones. Such the »foreignness« of Laura Dianti could be accepted by the members of the Ferrara court.

Volltext des Artikels:

07_IMAGE 28_Themenheft_Engel.pdf