Sofonisba Anguissola

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Sofonisba was born in the city of Cremona in 1532 to a noble family, as the oldest of seven children: six daughters and one son. Her father was a humanist and taught his children to be as well, he also wanted them to study a variety of subjects. When she was 14 she studied art with her sister (Elena) under Bernardino Campi (who left later on to go to Milan to encourage male painters to take on female students, and was replaced by Bernardino Gatti). Her sister decided to enter a convent to become a nun soon after. Being a woman, she was restricted in her studies and painting, so she concentrated on portraits. She later broke away from the traditional style of portrait painting and created her own style where she captured the expressions and emotions of her subjects. When she was 22 she travelled to Rome for a short time to sketch. There she met Michelangelo and informally studied with him, she even sent some of her own art to him, seeking his advice. In 1559 she went to Spain and was made the painter of King Philip II’s court, she even became the Queen’s friend and taught her how to paint. She stayed in court for 10 years. She later married Don Fabrizio de Moncada, a nobleman from Sicil, he died shortly after moving to Sicilywith his wife. She decided to move back to Cremona. On the way she met Captain Orazio Lomellino, her future husband. They married and settled in Genoa. In Genoa she continued her work and even had her own studio. Many artists went to learn her painting techniques and style. In 1623 a Flemish painter called Sir Anthony Dyke came to visit her. He drew her portrait and wrote notes describing his visit in his sketch book. Two years later she died in Palermo. She is considered the first female artist of the renaissance to achieve international fame. She also opened many doors for future female artists.
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external image 200px-Sofonisba-Anguissola1.jpgComment From The Author:There doesn't seem to be any deep itelectual meaning in her earlier portaits, but her later ones do seem to have more thought put into the subject's emotions, but whether or not she has a deeper underlying meaning in their expressions, I am not sure.