If you would like to spot one woman in Renaissance that could be called a Top Model – it would be Simonetta.
Nicknamed La Bella, Simonetta was an Italian noblewoman from Genoa, the wife of Marco Vespucci of Florence and the cousin-in-law of Amerigo Vespucci (the one who came with an idea that what Columbus found is not Asia – but America).
She was very beautiful. And famous Renaissance artists painted her a lot.
Simonetta at age fifteen married Marco Vespucci. They met in April 1469; she was with her parents at the church when she met Marco, who had been sent to Genoa by his father to study at the Banco di San Giorgio.
Marco was accepted by Simonetta’s father immediately. He was very much in love with her, so the marriage was logical. It was also logical because Marco’s family was well connected in Florence, especially to the famous Medici family.
Simonetta and Marco were married in Florence and the beautiful girl became instantly popular at the Florentine court. She was discovered by Sandro Botticelli and other prominent painters.
The legend says that every nobleman in the city was besotted with her, including the brothers Lorenzo and Giuliano of the ruling Medici family. Lorenzo was pretty busy with affairs of state, but his younger brother was free to pursue her.
My Daily Art