The Virtuosa

“I have made a solemn vow never to send my drawings because people have cheated me. In particular, just today I found...that, having done a drawing of souls in Purgatory for the Bishop of St. Gata, he, in order to spend less, commissioned another painter to do the painting using my work. If I were a man, I can't imagine it would have turned out this way.” - Artemisia Gentileschi

 

Artemisia Gentileschi, Jael and Sisera, c. 1620.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bernardino Campi Painting Sofonisba Anguisola

Sofonisba Anguissola, Bernardino Campi Painting Sofonisba Anguissola, Late 1550s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bernardino Campi Painting Sofonisba Anguisola

Sofonisba Anguissola, Bernardino Campi Painting Sofonisba Anguissola, Late 1550s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While Humanism opened doors for some women like Anguissola, it more often than not hindered women's participation in the arts.
   

Self-Portrait

  • Because of concerns for their safety (usually involving their virginity), women were usually forbidden an education which was vital to the Renaissance artist
  • Humanists tended to support patriarchal notions that held women innately inferior to men
  • Because of their natural inferiority, by definition women could not lead, achieve or invent
  • Women's education was filtered to the "minor."  For example, it was appropriate for them to learn how to draw and sketch but rarely was a woman considered mentally and physically capable of painting a large canvas
 
medallion reads: "The maiden Sofonisba Anguissola, depicted by her own hand, from a mirror, at Cremona."
Sofonisba Anguissola, Self-Portrait,
c. 1552.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Renaissance ideal of beauty:

Giovanna Tournabini

 
Noblewoman
Fair skin
Curly hair
Dark eyes
Perfectly curved brows
Rounded flesh
 
inscription on Ghirlandaio's portrait:
"O art, if thou were able to depict the conduct of the soul,
no lovelier painting would exist on earth."
 
Domenico Ghirlandaio, Giovanna Tornabuoni nee Albizzi, 1488.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Giovanna Tournabini

The Artist's Mother

Domenico Ghirlandaio,
Giovanna Tornabuoni nee Albizzi, 1488.
Sofonisba Anguisola, Portrait of the Artist's Mother,
Bianca Ponzoni Anguissola
, c. 1557.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

virtuosa = a talented, attractive and properly behaved woman. A woman endowed with masculine abilities.

 
 
Sofonisba Anguissola, Self-portrait with Maid (Cornelia Appiani), 1561.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elisabeth de Valois

The influence of humanism is clear in Sofonisba's attention to the individuality and humanity of her subjects
The Creation of Eve
Sofonisba Anguissola, Portrait of Elisabeth of Valois, 1563 - 1565.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Chess Game

Sofonisba Anguissola, The Chess Game, 1555.