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Exhibition

THE LADY WITH THE SQUIRREL BY HANS HOLBEIN AT PALAZZO BARBERINI Palazzo Barberini

10 May 2022 — 30 Jul 2022

The Gallerie Nazionali di Arte Antica announces an important exchange: after Raphael's Fornarina has left for the National Gallery in London, Hans Holbein's masterpiece Lady with a Squirrel is arriving from the same museum.

The Lady with a Squirrel, datable to 1526-1528, will be flanked in Room 16, dedicated to portraits, by two paintings from the National Galleries that can be...

The Gallerie Nazionali di Arte Antica announces an important exchange: after Raphael's Fornarina has left for the National Gallery in London, Hans Holbein's masterpiece Lady with a Squirrel is arriving from the same museum.

The Lady with a Squirrel, datable to 1526-1528, will be flanked in Room 16, dedicated to portraits, by two paintings from the National Galleries that can be related more or less directly to Holbein or his entourage: the Portrait of Henry VIII and the lesser known and never exhibited Portrait of Sir Thomas More. In addition to a philological interest in studying the workmanship and autography of the paintings, this close comparison will also focus on various other functional and "ideological" aspects linked to the theme of the portrait, both official and private, as explored in peculiar terms by Hans Holbein, particularly during his stay at the Tudor court. It will also be an opportunity to explore the relationship between the portrait image and its memorial, diplomatic, celebratory, biographical and emotional functions.

In the portrait, a detached and solemn-looking woman wears a bonnet of thick white fur, sitting with a red squirrel in her lap and a starling with glossy feathers on her shoulder, domestic animals common in the fifteenth century but also of strong symbolic significance, used as clues to the subject's identity. It is thought to be Anne Lovell, whose husband, Sir Francis Lovell, was a clerk at the court of Henry VIII, King of England. The starling is probably intended as a rhyming pun for East Harling, where the family had recently inherited a large estate. The commission may have been a commemoration of the birth of a son to the couple in the spring of 1526, but it also showcased their new status as wealthy landowners.

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Palazzo Barberini

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  • Entrance to Barberini Palace
  • Entrance to Corsini Gallery

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FROM PRIMITIVES TO FILIPPO LIPPI. THE NEW FITTING OF PALAZZO BARBERINI (Until 29 June 2022)

THE LADY WITH THE SQUIRREL BY HANS HOLBEIN AT PALAZZO BARBERINI (Until 30 July 2022)

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Palazzo Barberini

4.6 / 5 (77 reviews)

Palazzo Barberini is an important late-Baroque palace in Rome, packed with art and initially built for the Corsini family between 1730–1740. Guests can explore the different levels, see the library and browse the family's private art collections.

Opening hours

Sunday 10:00 - 18:00
Monday Closed
Tuesday 10:00 - 18:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 18:00
Thursday 10:00 - 18:00
Friday 10:00 - 18:00
Saturday 10:00 - 18:00

How to get there

Palazzo Barberini
13,Via delle Quattro Fontane, 00184, Rome
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