Sofonisba AnguissolaSofonisba's lesson, A Rennaissance artist and her work
Chantal Pattyn’s selection for her storefront.
You have to make some effort to see Sofonisba’s work. Fortunately, the Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent showed a number of works by this special artist in an exhibition with female contemporaries of Artemisia Gentilesschi. It’s been a few years now, but I was bouche B when I saw a self-portrait and The Chess Game, both from Polish collections. Sofonisba is still too unknown, maybe because of the lack of drama and tragedy in her life and work, if we have to compare her to her younger colleague Artemisia. In Sofonisba’s paintings you won’t see women proudly displaying the head of Holofernes, but refined portraits, often in an intimate atmosphere. Sofonisba, of noble descent, received an artistic training, but without anatomy lessons. Her work was quickly noticed, even by Michelangelo. She became the personal tutor of Elisabeth of Valois, the third wife of Philip II, at whose court she resided to produce numerous works. She died, at 93 years old, in Palermo. A year before her death she was visited by Anthony van Dyck.
Sofonisba Anguissola (ca. 1535–1625) was the daughter of minor Lombard aristocrats who made the unprecedented decision to have her trained as a painter outside the family house. She went on to serve as an instructor to Isabel of Valois, the young queen of Spain. Sofonisba’s Lesson sheds new light on Sofonisba’s work, offering a major reassessment of a Renaissance painter who changed the image of women’s education in Europe―and who transformed Western attitudes about who could be an artist.
- Michael W. Cole
- Princeton University Press
- Language English
- Format24.1 x 19.1 cm