Leonardo da Vinci 'Lady with an Ermine'

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  • See the most valuable painting in Poland - "Lady with an Ermine"
  • One of the few portraits painted by Leonardo da Vinci
  • Entry ticket to permanent exhibitions of the National Museum in Krakow
  • Tuesday - Saturday: 10 AM - 6 PM
  • Sunday: 10 AM - 4 PM

About

We have a treasure in Krakow

Leonardo da Vinci painted 4 portraits of women, including the most famous "Mona Lisa" and the most beautiful "Lady with an Ermine". We can admire the "lady" in Krakow, and the painting recently officially became a property of Polish Nation.

How did it happen that this painting ended up in Poland?
Well, in 1800, Prince Adam Jerzy Czartoryski bought it and presented it to his mother - a great connoisseur of art - Izabela. It is not entirely clear who decided to repaint the background image in black. Was it Isabella? Or maybe some overeager restorer?

The story of the girl on the port is fascinating, and Leonardo's genius can only be fully appreciated by admiring the "Lady" live.

What should you pay attention to when looking at the painting?

  • Eyes - Leonardo used a technique called "catchlight" - a small spot of light reflected in the eyes of the model,
  • Neck - shading visible on the neck of "Lady" gives the impression of three-dimensionality,
  • The gown - the blue pigment used to paint the dress was extremely expensive and hard to get, you had to bring it all the way from Afghanistan!
  • Disproportionately large hands - Leonardo liked to paint each part of the body separately. Perhaps he used the sketch he had painted earlier. Or is it another symbol? Who knows?
  • Pose - simultaneously static and dynamic
  • The painting is over 500 years old - still lookin good, right? 

Interesting facts

Beautiful and mysterious ...

Cecilia Gallerani was just a fifteen-year-old, beautiful and educated young lady when she met the Duke of Milan - Lodovico Sforza. For Lodovico, Cecilia was "beautiful like a flower", unlike his official fiancée, who he described as "a cute little creature". The couple became lovers. 
And the investigation begins - What does the Ermine mean? Is it just a decorative element?
Not at all!
Lodovico was sometimes called ermellino bianco - a white ermine. Coincidence?
"Lady" covers her belly with her hand - hiding the pregnancy.
Shortly after posing for the painting, Cecilia's illegitimate son Cesare was born.

And this is only the beginning of the mysteries. Leonardo initially painted Cecilia without an ermine, then he added a gray-furry animal, which color and shape was changed at the end. Why?

Only Leonardo knows that!

Important info

  • You can get to the Museum by public transport - a stop called: Muzeum Narodowe
  • Exchange your printed voucher for a ticket at the Museum ticket office
  • The last entrance to the museum is possible 20 minutes before its closing
  • The cash desk, the shop and the cloakroom stay open until the closing time
  • There is a paid underground car park in front of the Main Building
  • To get a student discount students must have a valid student ID card
  • The ticket is non refundable.

Faq

Can I visit the Museum on a different day than the date on the voucher?

Of course, you can use the voucher any day after the date of purchase.

Does the voucher have to be printed?

Yes, it is necessary. You will not receive a museum ticket without a printed voucher. If you need help printing it out, please visit our Tourist Information Point. Our consultants will print it out for you.

Until when "Lady with an Ermine" can be seen in the National Museum?

"Lady with the Ermine" is a temporary exhibition, and lasts until 29.12.2019.

Is the Museum adapted for people with disabilities?

For people with motor dysfunction, special external and internal elevators, stair platforms and portable rails have been installed in the building.