Yet again I'm giving in to my partiality for Italian Mannerism - but can you blame me? This is "Portrait of a Lady in Red" (1532-33) by the Mannerist, Jacopo Pontormo. I'm sure the reproduction doesn't do it full justice; it's oil on panel, and probably more richly colored in reality, but I like the dry, cool dignity of this image.
What I really like is that miniscule spaniel. (Why do spaniels have that mild melancholy in their eyes?) Each curl of his fur has been picked out as though carved, yet Pontormo has still given him the perfect soft, sweet baby face. Without him this woman might be impossible to approach, but with him she seems relaxed and serene. That's spaniels for you.