Wednesday, August 26, 2015

1500s Woman Artist - Lavinia Fontana 1552-1614


Lavinia Fontana (1552-1614) was born in Bologna, the daughter of fresco painter Prospero Fontana, who served as her teacher. As his only child, he would train her to carry on the family business. Early in her career, she concentrated on painting upper-class clients of her native Bologna, often with their small dogs which were sometimes seen as symbols of marital fidelity . She had begun her commercial practice by painting small devotional paintings on copper. She later created paintings of male & female nudes & large-scale religious paintings.

Lavinia Fontana (Italian painter, 1552-1614) Self-Portrait at the Spinet Accompanied by a Handmaiden

Fontana married fellow painting student Paolo Zappi in 1577, & gave birth to 11 children, though only 3 outlived her. After marriage, Fontana painted to support her growing family. Her husband Zappi took care of the household & served as painting assistant to his wife, helping paint minor elements of her paintings like draperies.


Lavinia Fontana (1552-1614)  Portrait of Laura Gonzaga in Green holding a Zibellini.

Fontana & her family moved to Rome in 1603, at the invitation of Pope Clement VIII. She gained the patronage of the Buoncompagni, of which Pope Gregory XIII was a member. Lavinia thrived in Rome, as she had in Bologna, & Pope Paul V was among her sitters. She was elected into the Accademia di San Luca of Rome, & died in that city on August 11, 1614.


Lavinia Fontana (1552-1614) Portrait of a Lady, 1590



Lavinia Fontana (1552-1614) Portrait of a Lady with a Lap Dog.



Lavinia Fontana (Italian painter, 1552-1614) Portrait of a Lady in a Pink Gown with her Pet Dog



Lavinia Fontana (1552-1614) Minerva dressing 1613



Lavinia Fontana (Italian painter, 1552-1614) Portrait of Bianca Degli Utili Masselli



Lavinia Fontana (Italian painter, 1552-1614) Portrait of a Girl 1580-83



Lavinia Fontana (Italian painter, 1552-1614) Family Portrait


Lavinia Fontana (1552-1614) Portrait of a Noblewoman with Dog



Lavinia Fontana (1552-1614) Portrait of a Lady of the Court with Dog 1590



Lavinia Fontana (1552-1614) , Portrait of Ginevra Aldrovandi Hercolani as Widow, 1595-1600



Lavinia Fontana (1552-1614) Bianca Cappello (1548-1587) 1590



Lavinia Fontana (1552-1614) Eleonora de’ Medici



Lavinia Fontana (1552-1614) Portrait of the Gozzadini Family, 1584



Lavinia Fontana (1552-1614) Portrait of a Lady


Lavinia Fontana (Italian painter, 1552-1614) Self-Portrait in a Studio


Lavinia Fontana (Italian painter, 1552-1614) Self Portrait 1595


1500s Women Artists - The Anguissola Sisters

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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


1500s Woman Artist - Sofonisba Anguissola 1532-1625 - Portraits of Women


1565 Sofonisba Anguissola (1530-1625) c Elisabeth de Valois by Sofonisba Anguissola Detail



Sofonisba Anguissola (1532-1625) Portrait of a Woman


Sofonisba Anguissola (1532-1625) Possibly a Portrait of Her Sister


Sofonisba Anguissola (1532-1625) Mother and Son


Sofonisba Anguissola (1532-1625) The Artist's Mother Bianca Ponzoni 1557


Sofonisba Anguissola (1532-1625) Anne of Austria, Queen of the Spain, 4th wife of Felipe II of Spain


Sofonisba Anguissola (1532-1625) Isabel de Valois 1565



Sofonisba Anguissola (1532-1625) Woman in Profile


Sofonisba Anguissola (1532-1625) Juana of Austria-Portugal 1561-62


Sofonisba Anguissola (1532-1625) Infantin Isabella Clara Eugenia 1573


Sofonisba Anguissola (1532-1625) Margarita of Savoy, Daughter of Duke and Duchess of Savoy 1595


Sofonisba Anguissola (1532-1625) Infanta Catalina Micaela, Dutchess of Savoy 1585


Sofonisba Anguissola (1532-1625) Detail of Infantin Isabella Clara Eugenia 1599


Sofonisba Anguissola (1532-1625) Isabel von Valois (1545-1568)


Sofonisba Anguissola (1532-1625) Isabella of Valois, Queen of Spain (1545-68), wife of King Philip II of Spain (1556-98)



1571 Sofonisba Anguissola (1530-1625) Infantin Margarita Gonzaga



Sofonisba Anguissola (1530-1625) Infantas Isabella Clara Eugenia Spain (1566–1633), Archduchess of Austria and Catalina Micaela 1570


1500s Woman Artist - Sofonisba Anguissola 1532-1625 - Self Portraits


Sofonisba Anguissola (1532-1625) Self Portrait at Easel 1556

Italian Renaissance Painter Sofonisba Anguissola (1532-1625) was an internationally respected Renaissance portrait artist. She thrived as a professional painter in a male-dominated milieu, as court painter to Philip II of Spain & art instructor to Queen Isabella of Valois,

In most of her self-portraits, a genre in demand during the period, Anguissola pictures her wide-eyed likeness with an austere braided hairstyle, scant jewelry, & dignified black dress. Unlike the ostentatious curls, gold baubles, ornate laces, & brocades fashionable among her female acquaintances, this representation stresses a serious side to her temperment as well as high self-esteem, decorum, nobility, & maturity. Her backdrops feature art paraphernalia, books, & musical instruments, all elements of privilege & of her life as a serious student of culture.

Sofonisba Anguissola (1532-1625) Self Portrait 1552 Detail



Sofonisba Anguissola (1532-1625) Self Portrait at Spinnet 1661


Sofonisba Anguissola (1532-1625) Self Portrait with Her Teacher Bernardino Campi [1558-59]


Sofonisba Anguissola (1532-1625) Self Portrait


Sofonisba Anguissola (1532-1625) Self Portrait 1554 The book reads:"Sophonisba Angussola virgo seipsam fecit 1554" or Sophonisba Anguissola, a virgin, made this herself in 1554.


Sofonisba Anguissola (1532-1625) Self Portrait at the Spinet



Sofonisba Anguissola (1532-1625) Self Portrait 1556


Sofonisba Anguissola (1532-1625) Self Portrait 1556 The Latin inscription reads: "Sophonisba Angussola virgo ipsius manu ex speculo depictam Cremonae" or Sophonisba Angussola, virgin of Cremona, has depicted herself with the aid of a mirror.



Sofonisba Anguissola (1532-1625) Self Portrait 1559



Sofonisba Anguissola (1532-1625) Self Portrait 1559



Sofonisba Anguissola (1532-1625) Self Portrait 1610



Sofonisba Anguissola (1532-1625) Self Portrait 1620

Here are two portraits of the painter as an elderly women.


Anguissola Sofonisba (Italian artist, 1530s-1625)



Anguissola Sofonisba (Italian painter, 1530s-1625)