Throughout the centuries, the fairer sex has always been the source of much inspiration for artists the world over.

Rome's Bertolami Fine Art this week will host an auction featuring archaeological works and ancient art. Included, will be a whole series of portraits of known and unknown women, a really beautiful journey through art canon.

In this case art historians rejoice as the name of the subject is inscribed on the painting, however, the identity of the artist was for some while unknown. The painting was finally attributed to Pier Francesco Cittadini from Milan. Count Arconati, who lived there, had commissioned the pieces, together with the portraits of his other three daughters, which he hung in his villa.

Leonello Spada (Bologna 1579 - Parma 1622) - Salome with the head of John the Baptist Leonello Spada (Bologna 1579 - Parma 1622) - Salome with the head of John the Baptist

Pier Francesco Citizens (1613/16 Mailand - Bologna 1681) - Portrait der Livia Arconati Pier Francesco Citizens (1613/16 Mailand - Bologna 1681) - Portrait der Livia Arconati

Jean-Baptiste (Tournus 1725 - Paris 1805) - Girl with dog Jean-Baptiste (Tournus 1725 - Paris 1805) - Girl with dog

Ambrosius Benson (Milan, circa 1495 - Fiandern 1550) - Madonna and Child Ambrosius Benson (Milan, circa 1495 - Fiandern 1550) - Madonna and Child

The origin of the Grape-Madonnas dates back to the 2nd century. It depicts the old Christian idea that Mary is the vine from which Jesus had emerged as a divine grape. In examples of the Grape-Madonna, Mary usually holds the grapes in her hand. In this example, the infant sits on her lap holding the grapes instead.

Madonna and Child, sculpture, H: 50 cm, late 16th century Madonna and Child, sculpture, H: 50 cm, late 16th century

Paul de Matteis (Piano Vetrale 1662 - Neapel 1728) - Urania Paul de Matteis (Piano Vetrale 1662 - Neapel 1728) - Urania

The Muse Urania was the daughter of the father of the gods Zeus and the nymph Mnemosyne. She was responsible for astronomical matters. Typically, Urania is depicted with a star-studded garment, a celestial globe, and a little staff. Paolo de Matteis chose to depict Urania with a divider caliper (compass) instead of a staff.

La Bona Dea, white marble statuette, 45.6x19 cm, mid 3rd century BC La Bona Dea, white marble statuette, 45.6x19 cm, mid 3rd century BC

The Roman cult of Bona Dea ("good goddess") was reserved for women. Bona Dea was the goddess of women, healing, virginity and fertility. As a symbol of the latter, this dedication of the Bona Dea, which comes from the early days of the cult, holds a cornucopia in her arm.

Lorenzo Lotto (Venice 1480 - Loreto 1556) Portrait of an Edeldame, ca. 1518 Lorenzo Lotto (Venice 1480 - Loreto 1556) Portrait of an Edeldame, ca. 1518

This unsigned portrait of an unknown lady is attributed to the Venetian painter Lorenzo Lotto. A reference point for the attribution is the portrait of Lucia Bremati painted by Lorenzo Lotto around 1518. Both, in that painting, as well as on the present, there is a great resemblance between the hands and the hairstyle.

Carlo Ceresa (San Giovanni Bianco 1609 - Bergamo 1679) - Portrait of a young Edeldame Carlo Ceresa (San Giovanni Bianco 1609 - Bergamo 1679) - Portrait of a young Edeldame

Female bust with diadem, limestone, H: 32 cm, 13. Jh. Female bust with diadem, limestone, H: 32 cm, 13th century

August Riedel (Bayreuth 1799 – Rome 1883) - Vittoria Caldoni in Albanian costume August Riedel (Bayreuth 1799 – Rome 1883) - Vittoria Caldoni in Albanian costume

August Riedel, born in Bayreuth, lived in Italy from 1828, where he honed his great artistic talent.The harmonious palette and the effect the light of the soft sun has on the work is almost celestial. The representation of women is an important part of his oeuvre.

Simon Vouet (Paris 1590-1649) - Salome with the head of John the Baptist, 1620s Simon Vouet (Paris 1590-1649) - Salome with the head of John the Baptist, 1620s

Check out Bertolami Fine Arts on Barnebys here.

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