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The Medici

Giuliano de' Medici

Fioretta Gorini, the widow of the assassinated Giuliano de' Medici

Shown like all widows without jewellery and here additionally with the symbol of a juniper tree in the background, and not Ginevra de Benci. The juniper tree never points towards the name of the depicted, but has always been used as a symbol of mourning, death and rebirth since ancient times. By the way, at least until 1926 this portrait had the title "Portrait of a young Woman" (in: Paul Schubring: Die Kunst der Hochrenaissance in Italien, Berlin 1926 (second Edition). Only after that an art historian gave this young lady the name "Ginevra de Benci", because the juniper tree reminded him of the female name "Ginevra".


 

A bust of Fioretta Gorini, the widow of the assassinated Giuliano de' Medici, made by Andrea del Verrocchio. Who did Fioretta Gorini immortalize first: Leonardo da Vinci in the painting of her or his master, Andrea del Verrocchio, in the bust of her or were the representations of her made at the same time, around 1479/1480?


 

Fioretta Gorini, the widow of the assassinated Giuliano de' Medici (a different view of the bust)


 

Fioretta Gorini, the widow of the assassinated Giuliano de' Medici (a different view of the bust)


 

Fioretta Gorini, the widow of the assassinated Giuliano de' Medici


 

Fioretta Gorini, symbolically shown as a turtle-dove in this painting of her assassinated husband (a larger depiction of the turtle-dove)

During the Renaissance, the turtle-dove was used by married couples (not lovers!) as a symbol for eternal love and for continual faithfulness. According to Aristotle, this animal was monogamous and would never take a new partner after the death of the former one. With the help of this painting here, which was commissioned with certainty by Fioretta Gorini herself, she tells us that for her there will be no more joy in life (the withered, leafless branch) and that for her like for the turtle-dove she had only one partner, her husband Giuliano de' Medici, and there would never be another one.