Lucrezia Borgia has made a comeback; you can see her in the Showtime television series The Borgias or in Canal+ television series Borgia. Most think Bartolomeo Veneto used Lucrezia as his model for Flora (top left). Both series lack the rival Medici family and worthy spinoff material. Pope Leo X of the Medici family has a starring role in David Madsen’s novel, “Memoirs of a Gnostic Dwarf.”
Sarah Dunant’s novel, “In the Company of the Courtesan,” a dwarf keeps company with the Courtesan. Even fiction often reflects a truth, my last post and the title of this one reflect how artists, courtesans and dwarfs mingle. Lucrezia may not hold the Courtesan title, but she served in the same realm; she most likely had dwarfs in her company. The Medici family had dwarfs, so that makes them a “must have” for the Borgia family.
In Las Meninas (lower left), Diego Velázquez depicts himself with two dwarfs, two ladies-in-waiting (potential courtesans, mistresses or queens), and Infanta Margaret Theresa (She got pimped out at age 15 to her maternal uncle and paternal cousin, Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor).