The Secrets of a Royal Portrait


Reading the title of the exhibition and conference The Secrets of a Royal Portrait, one wonders what secrets a portrait of a queen could hide. The recently emerged portrait of the much-talked-about last Queen of Cyprus seems indeed to be dated to the 16th century and is considered now to be one of the few Renaissance paintings of Caterina Cornaro in the world to survive to this day. The portrait of a queen, a painting of relatively small dimensions, prompted an interdisciplinary programme that would extend two years involving research, a series of discussions, speculations, ventures, specialised analyses and, finally, a complex process of cleaning and restoration, aimed mainly at revealing multiple mysteries suspected of hiding behind the identity and the history of the artwork.