The portrait of the Marquise Marianna Florenzi, wife of the Marquis Ettore Florenzi, which was commissioned in 1824 by Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria who enjoyed a close relationship to the beautiful and intelligent woman. Having met in 1821, the Crown Prince and the Marquise enjoyed a close friendship, documented in a sizeable correspondence.
The nearly life-size portrait of the Marquise shows her sitting in a garden. She¿s turning slightly to the right, her legs crossed and her hands, holding a few flowers, are resting in her lap. Her head, slightly tilted back, and her lively, direct glance suggest self-confidence rather than arrogance. She is surrounded by the architecture of the loggia, which also serves as a frame. The ionic columns, which were primarily used in ancient temples devoted to goddesses, are here used as a mark of distinction to further define the importance of the sitter. In the background is a fountain, and behind that, cleverly revealed through carefully trimmed hedges, a view of St. Peter's.
Several of the attributive elements surrounding the Marquise, for example the vase with a flowering plant, are reminiscent of medieval material symbolism, which the Nazarenes sought to revive. They, too, express the high regard that Ludwig held for the Marquise.