By the way Giovanna of Aragon dressed herself in a Catalan style in this famous portrait of her – the characteristic mantle (sbernia). Not only through the most important symbol of her dynasty, the ermine, but also through the chosen costume she declares that she is a member of the Aragonese of Naples, whose ancestor, King Alfonso V./I., once had also been the King of Spanish Aragon, which included Catalonia. Moreover as Pascal Cotte described in his volume "The Lady with an Ermine", there were made some changes regarding this portrait. The original small brown ermine, in other words, the ermine in its summer fur, the symbol for the female members of the Neapolitan Aragonese, tells us that Leonardo da Vinci made this portrait of Isabella of Aragon's beloved niece and best friend Giovanna before August/September 1495. Through the marriage of the latter with her nephew Ferrandino (or Ferdinand II. of Aragon), the elder brother of Isabella of Aragon, in August or September 1495, Giovanna's rank in her dynasty changed. She became the new Queen of Naples and therefore she had the right to be decorated with the white ermine. The additional mourning veil was added at the end of 1495, when her father-in-law Alfonso II., who had already abdicated as King of Naples on 22nd or 23rd January 1495, died on 19th November 1495 in Messina.
Reading suggestion: Maike Vogt-Lüerssen: Die Sforza III: Isabella von Aragon und ihr Hofmaler Leonardo da Vinci (in German). Norderstedt 2010