| The Lady With An Ermine | Libertied From The Dust of The Centuries|
The Lady With An Ermine Replic by Stan Bert Singer
The Attempt of An Approach
By Stàn Bert Singer
In February 2019, on my birthday, I was in Krakow and visited the Old Town of Krakow and some museums.
To my shame, I must confess that I only learned by chance that the world-famous painting by Leonardo da Vinci is in Cracow, and I thought it was in Italy or wherever. In any case, I immediately bought tickets and on a cold February day I visited the main museum not far from my hotel.
The famous painting is presented very sacredly. One room, hardly any light, only one painting, namely "Dama z gronostajem", i.e. the lady with the ermine.
I was immediately captivated by the painting, I knew it from the media, of course, but an original is an original. At the same time, the colors made me think, which in my opinion were not shown to be advantageous due to the very specific lighting.
In the following months, I researched everything there was to know about this painting and decided to kiss the painting awake from its thorny sleep. One has to understand that a five hundred year old painting does not look like it was painted five hundred years ago.
There is dirt, dust, yellowed varnish, restorers who have restored well and restorers who have restored less well - as unfortunately also happened with this painting.
For example, the background to be seen in the museum is black, and in reality, it was a blue-gray. There are countless details to be discussed here, but I do not want to bore you with restorative details but rather present the painting by Cecilia Gallerani in this state as it may have looked at the time of its creation. Cecilia Gallerani is the name of the lady with an ermine who was Ludovico Sforza's mistress. The sitter was 16 or 17 years old at the time. The white ermine she is holding on her left arm alludes to her role as mistress since Ludovico Sforza was nicknamed "white ermine".
The goal of my project was to make not only a "simple" replica - no, it goes further. I wanted the painting to be as near as possible to the original, but not how it looks now, but how it looked in 1500 when it was freshly painted.
Comparative study on colourfulness
The under part of 1-3 cm is not visible in most trivial copies. This replica was made on the basis of the original dimensions of the picture taken out from the frame. Also missing in the trivial copies on the right and left edges in the range of 0 to 10 mm. These are only some of the details that have been taken into account in this replica. In an Ultra Hd resolution you can also see the lashes of the sitter, both in the original and in the replica.
The Painting Technique of Leonardo Da Vinci
Stàn Bert Singer`s Replica
Most art lovers have surely heard of the sfumato technique, which goes back to Leonard da Vinci.
Often it is only understood as a blurring of the edges, but Leonardo's technique is much more complex than a simple blurring of the edges. The illusion of three-dimensionality is rather achieved by overlaying with transparent, almost colorless "white" intermediate glazes combined with other glazes.
As this is no small task in terms of painting skills and time, it is only too understandable that Leonard often needed years for his paintings, not least because he used walnut oil, which is known to dry very slowly, as a binding agent.
I have used all of these techniques in the now presented "stub free" replica. Over 18 months were spent on the painting, starting with the research up to the final completion.
For an interested art enthusiast or prospective buyer, I will be happy to give an insight into some details after getting to know them personally. I documented the creation of the painting in every step of the painting, so the growth of the painting can be observed. Some details are mentioned in the adjoining illustrations.
In this sense, I wish you much pleasure in art in general and particularly with Fräulein mademoiselle Cecilia Gallerani.
God bless You
Stàn Bert Singer
Vienna Okt. 2020
Replica The Lady with an Ermine
Stan Bert Singer 2019 - 2020
after Leonard da Vinci Dama z gronostajem
Status of Painting:
price and detailed information on request.
A Short Introduction To The Effects Of Glass, Light And Varnish
The influence of light and galls can be seen in the picture on the right - once with museum glass and once without museum glass. The painting is still without varnish and can only be covered in 18 months at the earliest. In case of a purchase, it is recommended to ask the artist for advice.
A Short Introduction To Colors, Light And Painting Media
As far as the state of knowledge of science and research of the original painting allows, and this work has been researched quite extensively, the following can be reported very briefly on the pigments and painting media: Leonardo da Vinci used pigments made of mineral base material, such as umber, burnt umber and the same, black from burnt animal bones and lead white, vermillion and blue tones which were available in the 15th/16th century, especially lapis lazuli. In this approach to the original, these pigments were preferably used.
We know very little about Leonardo's painting medium, if we look at it honestly, except that it was walnut oil, as it is known to be the least yellowing. Unfortunately, walnut oil has the decisive disadvantage that it also dries the least quickly, so you have to wait up to 2 weeks before applying another coat. We do not know for sure whether Leonardo really did this, but it is accepted by art historians, not least because Leonardo often took years to paint his pictures. Now I do not want to enter into a discourse with historians, but I would like to point out that accelerators, i.e. siccatives, may have been used very late in the painting medium. In the end, even a burned umbra is a kind of siccative, which cannot be proven to be siccative, etc. Of course, this is more suitable for use in the background and dark areas. Also, the chemical analyses would support this.
Chemical analysis is one thing, and a picture for painting is entirely different because here, you have the haptic relation to the color and the painting medium.
I personally tend to believe that Leonardo did use siccatives in the darker parts of the painting, or painting media that consist of nut oil and possibly also of oils boiled in small quantities. The reason it took him so long to create his works may have been partly because he was a very busy man, with many interests in research, natural science and the like - all this is known and need not be explained here.
In summary, we can say that the present replica was created with the greatest possible dedication to the original pigments and media.
The picture is painted on poplar wood. The use of lead white was abandoned only for health reasons (a forger would use lead white) not to burden the future owner. Also, I cannot share the opinion that lead white is inferior to the current white pigments, and there are possibilities to achieve this with today's pigments.
Finally, I would like to thank you for your interest and wish you all the best for the future and much pleasure in painting.
Colour change due to light refraction on the glass
without Glas (correct Size) With colour correction due to ageing and dirt
Common pictures you find in the internet (Original, but not correct size)
The Lady with an Ermine Original correct size .jpg