Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Joanna of Aragon

I have always been fascinated by the 1502 portrait of Joanna of Aragon by Raphael (which I took the liberty of cropping and turning into an ATC here).
Joanna married her first cousin from Naples and then her own daughter Giovanna married her nephew who was actually ten years her senior. Other than all the byzantine information available about intermarriage, history doesn’t offer us any clues as to how Joanna felt about things or what she was interested in.

There’s a part of me that would like to be a biographer and create imaginary lives for historical figures like Joanna who have been reduced to their alliances and the role they play in politics. I also wonder if Aragon, which was part of Spain, gave Tolkien the idea for the name of his character Aragorn in Lord of the Rings.

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