I was tagging the pictures I took during my quick visit to St Petersburg last month when I got stuck in the painting above. I cannot remember neither the title nor the author, and all my Googling efforts have proven to be unsuccessful. I was even willing to pay the Turk but unfortunately it only works in the States. All I know is that the painting is in the Hermitage Museum, any ideas?
I pay in beers ;)
*** Update *** We got an answer: it seems to be «Alexandre and Arianne» by Giulio Romano, many thanks Mariam!!! He was an Italian painter and “a prominent pupil of Raphael”. I get some references to him in the Museum’s website, but I still don’t get any mention to this particular painting.
*** More info *** The Italian Wikipedia article for Giulio Romano mentions the painting “Due amanti, 1523-1524 ca, olio su tavola trasferito su tela, 163 x 337 cm, San Pietroburgo, Ermitage” which I believe is actually the one above. Therefore the title would be Due Amanti (Two Lovers) instead of “Alexandre and Arianne”.
In this other article published in The Art Bulletin the author speaks about the woman in the right:
Giulio Romano was also familiar with Rome’s courtesans and their patrons. […] Two Lovers, now in the Hermitage, showing a courtesan and her male lover on a bed with a procuress peeking in at the couple from a doorway on the right.
Giulio Romano is definitely the author, and the woman is oh surprise procuring (a pimp).
Finally I also found an interesting reference in a 20 years old article from New York Times where John Russell makes a review of Giulio Romano and his paintings. And he also mentions the Two Lovers:
Measuring 6 feet 5 inches by 11 feet 2 inches, it has the character of a frieze scene in close-up, with the lovers, the tumbled bed, the discarded clothes and many another apposite detail rendered with an even-handed precision that looks forward to David, Ingres and Courbet. It also includes an eavesdropping crone. Whether she is enemy or accomplice, we cannot tell. But what Giulio does with her bunch of keys and her overexcited little dog is something to see.