Artwork Title: Self Portrait

Self Portrait, 1560

Sofonisba Anguissola

Sofonisba's earliest paintings were self portraits that testify to her discreta modestia... The self portraits also attest to her competency in "letters, music, and painting." In one self portrait Sofonisba represents herself holding a small book which bears the following inscription: "Sophonisba Angusola virgo seipsam fecit 1554" [Sophonisba Anguissola, a virgin, made this herself in 1554] ." The small size of the book suggests a devotional book or a book of love sonnets like those of Petrarch. Either would have been appropriate reading... ( The eldest of 6 daughters of an Italian nobleman, who became painter at the court of Philip II of Spain, she painted self portraits as advertisements for her skills, carefully depicting herself modestly dressed as a hyper-virtuous woman ("since by painting she was already transgressing", according to Joanna Woodall). (
Uploaded on Aug 16, 2015 by Suzan Hamer

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