Simone di Niccolò Bianco, attr.

Loro Ciuffenna/Arezzo ? - 1553 Venice
Idealised Portrait of a woman in profile
Venice, c. 1520/30, marble, 30 x 32,5 x 8.5 cm
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Loro Ciuffenna

Pittoresque birthplace

Road to life

The Via dei Sette Ponti, the ‘Road of Seven Bridges’, that leads to Arezzo 30km (18mi) away, begins in Loro Ciuffenna. The first bridge that arches the river Ciuffenna in the centre of the little town has existed since the Middle Ages. Records show that a mill was constructed there back in the 11th century. It is certainly possible that Simone di Niccolò Bianco travelled along the ‘Road of Seven Bridges’ to Venice, some 300km (186mi) away – a long distance in those days.

An important Doge

but the power of Venice

...has passed its peak

Simone di Niccolò Bianco, whose exact date of birth is unknown, was first mentioned in a document in 1521 from Venice. At this time Leonardo Loredan was the Doge of Venice. It was under his rule that the War of the League of Cambrai was fought against Venice by an alliance between King Louis XII of France, Pope Julius II, the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, Ferdinand of Aragón and several small Italian states. Although, under Loredan, Venice did not actually lose the war and managed to keep possession of large swathes of its lands, Venice’s omnipotence was broken. By the time the Doge died, Venice’s political heyday had passed.

Elaborated hairstyles

Jewels and lemons

Honest men

The imaginative coiffure of the unknown beauty reflects the hairstyle of the Italian Renaissance that, in turn, was influenced by Antiquity. The artistically plaited braids and delicate curls are decorated with gems, ribbons and pearls. Lighter shades were very much en vogue and, if not natural, were created by bleaching in the sun or with lemon juice.
Men’s hairstyles were essentially very simple in comparison to women’s and no differentiation was made with regard to a man’s social standing.