Offering new scholarship, this illustrated monograph is a fascinating look into the life and work of the Renaissance painter Sofonisba Anguissola.
Sofonisba Anguissola (ca. 1532–1625), an Italian Renaissance painter born in Cremona to a relatively poor noble family, was one of the first women artists to establish an international reputation during her lifetime. This stunningly illustrated monograph explores the evolution of Anguissola’s art from her youth in Cremona through her service as a lady-in-waiting to the Spanish queen Elisabeth of Valois to her later years as a married woman in Sicily and Genoa. Alongside discussions of Anguissola and her work, author Cecilia Gamberini offers a tantalizing exploration of Renaissance court life, detailing how the circles of influence and power operated.
This volume highlights the social, political, and cultural preconditions surrounding Anguissola’s role in the court of King Philip II of Spain and her ascent to becoming an internationally acclaimed painter. Gamberini draws on archival documentation, as well as her own original research, to shine a new light on Anguissola’s life, career, and work in this tribute to a truly groundbreaking artist.
Cecilia Gamberini has written and lectured extensively on Sofonisba Anguissola.
“Drawing upon a wealth of archival sources, Gamberini’s book offers fresh insights into Anguissola’s personal and professional life, including the complex web of familial and patronage networks that she navigated between Italy and Spain.” —Tanja L. Jones, Associate Professor, The University of Alabama
“Cecilia Gamberini’s Sofonisba Anguissola is the story of an extraordinary painter’s life which unfolds between Cremona, Madrid, Paterno, Genoa and Palermo. Each stage of Sofonisba Anguissola’s career marks a change in her work, from formidable beginnings to official portraits of the Spanish court, and finally to her devotional paintings in her last few years spent between Liguria and Sicily. It is a story which reinvigorates and deepens our understanding of an artist who was also a pioneer of female art.” —Angela Ghirardi, Art Historian
“Both entertaining and rigorous, Cecilia Gamberini’s monograph offers us the artistic and personal history of one of the most important women artists of the modern era. Helped by the social and familial environments in which she grew up, Anguissola’s skills gave her mythical status. Taking in the quality and depth of Sofonisba's portraits, Gamberini depicts the long life and biographical adventures of a fascinating and unique personality.” —Leticia Ruiz Gómez, Director of Colecciones Reales of the Patrimonio Nacional, Spain