Leonardo da Vinci: the Lady with an Ermine enigma

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“Lady with an Ermine” (1489–1490) is an oil on walnut portrait by the Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci. The portrait’s subject is Cecilia Gallerani, the favorite mistress of Ludovico Sforza, known as “il Moro”, Duke of Milan. It was painted around the time of Cecilia’s pregnancy with Ludovico’s illegitimate son. Leonardo’s paintings are famous for hiding mysteries; thus, the truth about the “Lady with an Ermine” is still unclear. However, the solution to this enigma could be more evident than expected. Our hypothesis is that Cecilia might have suffered from pregnancy-induced Cushing syndrome.

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Correspondence to Payam Sadeghi.

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Sisti, A., Sadeghi, P. Leonardo da Vinci: the Lady with an Ermine enigma. Hormones (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42000-020-00264-0

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  • Pregnancy-induced Cushing Sindrome
  • Lady with an Ermine
  • Leonardo da Vinci
  • Portrait