Saturday, February 13, 2016

1500s Women Artists - The Anguissola Sisters

Sofonisba Anguissola (1532-1625) A Portrait of the Artist's Sister Minerva Anguissola.

Lucia Anguissola, a Painter, by her sister Sofonisba Anguissola 1560s

Sofonisba Anguissola (1532-1625) Three of the Artist's Sisters at a Chess Game 1555

The paintings done by Sofonisba Anguissola (1532-1625) of herself & her sisters tell a fairly amazing story. Sofonisba Anguissola was the oldest of 7 children, 6 of whom were female.

Sofonisba Anguissola (1532-1625) The Artist's Sister Minerva Anguissola.

Her parents were affluent with noble backgrounds. Her father encouraged all of his daughters (Sofonisba, Elena, Lucia, Europa, Minerva & Anna Maria) to cultivate their talents.

Sofonisba Anguissola (1532-1625) The Artist's Sister Elena Anguissola as a Nun 1551

Four of the sisters (Elena, Lucia, Europe, & Anna Maria) became painters, with Sofonisba emerging as the most accomplished. Elena became a nun, as you see in Sofonisba’s portrait of her, giving up painting. Anna Maria & Europa gave up art upon marrying, while Lucia Anguissola, the best painter of Sophonisba's sisters, died young.

Sofonisba Anguissola (1532-1625) The Artist's Sister Lucia as Maid of Honor to the Queen of Spain 1559

The other sister, Minerva, became a writer & Latin scholar. Sofonisba simply did not marry, until she was nearly 40, giving her the time & space to develop her talents without serious responsibilities. She became the first woman artist to win international renown.

Sofonisba Anguissola (1532-1625) Portrait of the Artist's Sisters and Brother. c. 1555

Sofonisba Anguissola (1532-1625) The Artist's Sister Minerva Anguissola. 1564

Sofonisba Anguissola (1532-1625) Portrait of her sister Anna Maria

Lucia Anguissola (1532-1625) Portrait of Sofonisba Anguissola

Lucia Anguissola (1532-1625) Portrait of Europa Anguissola

Anguissola Sofonisba (Italian painter, 1530s-1625) Amilcare, Inerva, and Asdrubale Anguissola