2 oz 999 Fine Silver Coin – Republique du Tchad 2023 – 10000 Francs CFA
The Lady With an Ermine has been widely attributed to Leonardo da Vinci. This is an oil work on walnut wood, and it depicts the mistress of Ludovico Sforza, who was Duke of Milan at this time. The painting was likely done between 1489-1491, and it is the second of a mere four portraits of women that were painted by da Vinci during this period. Leonardo da Vinci was serving as the painter for the Duke of Milan when he was executed, so this is one of the later pieces he created in his life. This painting uses the art style of contrapposto, using a turned profile and an angled subject in the ermine in her arms. The painting technique is much like the style used in the Mona Lisa, which was also done with a layer of white gesso over brownish underpaint. The style looks very much like the Mona Lisa, and this piece offers the same sense of a moment frozen in time, just about to move again in real life. The woman in the piece is likely Cecilia Gallerani. Her Spanish-style dress was quite popular at this time following the marriage of Isabella of Aragon to the Duke of Milan. These details help to date the painting and also to clarify who the subject must be. Leonardo da Vinci famously loved dynamic poses, which is why this piece is solidly attributed to him. This kind of pose was much less commonly used by other painters during this period.
On a canvas of 11 x 14.5cm, a new minting technique called “Bi-Metal Max” was applied to give this piece its remarkable weight while keeping its proportions true to the actual painting. This is made possible by combining 33.5 oz of copper as a base with a top layer of 2 oz of 999 fine Silver, resulting in a high relief. This is a limited edition of 333 pieces only. Each piece is packaged and delivered with a Certificate verifying its edition number and authenticity.