If you enjoy TripOut, the blog, The Museum of Ridiculously Interesting Things is also worth your while. In this important post they explore the use of weasels, ferrets and minks in 16th century portraits:

In the 16th century, weasels were a catch-all category for many of the furry, long-bodied carnivorous creatures in the mustelid family, such as ermine, sables, martens, ferrets, stoats and mink. These creatures often appear in Renaissance portraits of high-ranking noblewomen, and represent a fascinating language of sexual symbolism. Explore some of the hidden meanings of weasels below!

By Chelsea Nicholsridiculouslyinteresting.com
Portrait of a lady (1520-25) by Bernardino Luini. Oil on panel, 770 x 575 mm. National Gallery of Art, Washington.
‘The Ermine Portrait of Elizabeth I of England (circa 1585), attributed to William Segar. Oil on canvas. Collection of Hatfield House, Hertfordshire.
‘Lady with an Ermine’ (circa 1490) by Leonardo da Vinci. Also known as ‘Portrait of Cecilia Gallerani’. Oil and tempera on wood panel, 548 x 403 mm. Collection of Czartoryski Museum, Krakow.
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