Wednesday, 2 July 2008

The Lass with the Ferret

I've been asked about the lady who graces my side bar. The painting is by Leonardo da Vinci and is called "Lady with Ermine". The furry mammal is quite clearly a ferret so the painting is misnamed. Personally I think it is a brilliant portrait, the sitter is decidedly enigmatic, beautiful and lively. What is all the fuss over the Mona Lisa?

The painting is on my side bar because I like it, the same reason Zurbaran's pots grace the top of the blog. I make no claims about knowing anything about the sitter, Wiki has some possible answers.

Incidentally ferrets are brilliant little animals, but you have to give them the stimulation you would provide a dog, they can not be treated like rabbits and left in cages. In fact, let them do what they were bred to do and snuff out rabbits, they are efficient little hunters and do the job far better than traps or poison. They have more personality than cats and are less vain and selfish.

Just promise me, if you ever own a ferret, NEVER dress it up.


Irene said...

I love ferrets.

And no matter what various sources say, I must respectfully disagree with the identification of the large white muscular animal in Leonardo's painting as a dark-eyed white/champagne/cinnamon ferret. I think we can trust Leonardo's anatomy, know his compulsiveness about the topic.

With that being said, I can but congratulate you on your choice -- surely one of the world's greatest masterpieces. The popularity of the "Mona Lisa" is almost certainly due to its location.

Tom in Vegas said...

I love art as well. Having said that, don't ask me how Salvador Dali's Christ on a tesseract got by unnoticed. Shame on me:0(

I don't think you have to be an expert in art or in any particular piece of art in order to appreciate it.

James M said...


Within a week of us getting ferrets they wiped out half our chickens. We insisted to mum and dad that it was a fox wot done it...and so they let us keep the ferrets and the very next night they wiped out th other half of the chickens, leaving only a very shaken, angry, lonely, disappointed, bereft cockerel...but as he was of no use on his own we had to despatch him too.

Can't blame the ferrets though...just being true to their nature.

Great pictures by the way.

Rita said...


Ferrets are my favourite, domesticated "natural born killers", they are devious too. Last year we found the bandit ferret from next door frolicking in our garden amongst the windfall apples. It didn't seem intent on escaping and running away, just enjoying a run in our garden. It was only later we spotted next door's dog looking a bit sheepish. Apparently, it could open the ferret's cage and could let it out...I pass no comment about animals being able to communicate with each other.