You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Frame by Frame

Hero worship, with nerve in ‘Raphael and the Fornarina’

This simperingly saucy and slightly ridiculous picture was painted by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, the great 19th-century neoclassicist. It hangs in the Harvard Art Museums’ temporary galleries at the Sackler Museum, and I adore it.

Not quite as much, perhaps, as Ingres adored Raphael, whom he looked upon as a bona fide god; and certainly not as much as Raphael adored his mistress, a Roman bakeress called Margherita Luti. Known to art history as “La Fornarina” (Italian for bakeress), she’s the one staring out at you with those calm, dark eyes.

Your comment is subject to the rules of our Posting Policy

This comment may appear on your public profile. Public Profile FAQ

Wake up with today's top stories.

Want each day's news headlines delivered fresh to your
inbox every morning? Just connect with us
in one of the following ways:
Please enter a valid email will never post anything without asking.
Privacy Policy
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of