The content on this page is aggregated and is not affiliated with the artist.
Born into a minor aristocratic family in Cremona, Italy, Sofonisba Anguissola became one of the most successful female painters in the Renaissance, and was renowned for her portraits. She was the first woman artist to achieve international renown, and was recognized by Vasari, Michelangelo and Van Dyck during a period in history when women did not typically achieve recognition as artists.
She studied with Bernardino Campi, a respected portrait and religious painter of the Lombard school. Anguissola then continued her studies with painter Bernardino Gatti (known as Il Sojaro). Anguissola’s apprenticeship with local painters set a precedent for women to be accepted as students of art. As a woman at the time, Anguissola was not permitted to study anatomy or drawing from life from nude models and therefore focused her attention on portraiture.
In 1560, she was appointed painter to the Queen of Spain, Isabel de Valois, Philip II’s third wife. Over her long residence, she taught the young queen drawing and made numerous portraits of the royal family and members of the court. In 1571, Anguissola entered an arranged marriage to Sicilian nobleman, Fabrizio Moncada Pignatelli, chosen for her by the Spanish court. She lived with him in Palermo until his death in 1579 and received a royal pension that enabled her to continue working and tutoring would-be painters. Her private fortune also supported her family and brother. In 1580, she married merchant captain Orazio Lomellini and lived in Genoa until 1620. In her later years, Anguissola became a wealthy patron of the arts. She died in 1625 at age 93 in Palermo.
Anguissola is significant to feminist art historians. Her great success opened the way for larger numbers of women to pursue serious careers as artists. Some of her more well-known successors include Lavinia Fontana, Barbara Longhi, Fede Galizia and Artemisia Gentileschi. (ArtUK.org,...) http://www.dailyartfixx.com/2016/02/24/5-women-artists-you-should-know-vol-8/