November 26, 2013
Seminar Thesis Paper
Sofonisba Anguissola: A Woman Breaking Down Barriers in the Italian Renaissance
Sofonisba Anguissola was a woman extremely ahead of her time. Her career was a succession of high achievements and firsts, for being both a woman and an artist in the Italian Renaissance. As a woman artist living in a male-dominated culture and society, Anguissola had many obstacles to over come and had to navigate the fine line between promoting her skills to attract potential patrons, while still appearing chaste and respectable as an aristocratic woman. To be in this situation was a rare opportunity for a woman, and there had been no predecessors to guide Anguissola’s decisions. She was embarking on a path no woman had gone before and was in uncharted waters. To overcome such challenges I argue Anguissola developed a program of self-portraits using the term virgo either through explicit written use, or hidden symbolism as a way to positively identify herself as an independent and capable female artist. Sofonisba Anguissola was consciously choosing to label her self-portraits with virgo to break into the male-dominated realm of painting, gain respect and recognition as a woman painter, and to open painting to women as a socially acceptable profession.
In this paper I will first be discussing the social climate of Renaissance Italy and the attitudes and views toward woman in society as well as ways in which women were traditionally visually represented during Anguissola’s lifetime. Then I will be examining a number of Anguissola’s early self portraits to prove her use of the term virgo is deliberate and powerful within the context of her works. Next I will discuss Anguissola in the context of other female artists, by looking at works including her sisters, and works done by Lavinia Fontana, a slightly later female artist in the sixteenth century. Finally, I will be discussing her contributions to the subject of genre painting, and her influence on later artists, both male and female.
Anguissola was born in c.1532, in Cremona, Italy to Amilcare and Bianca Anguissola, members of an ancient aristocratic family in the city.1 As a daughter of noble birth, whose father valued education, Sofonisba and her five sisters, Elena, Lucia, Minerva, Europa and Anna Maria received the same Renaissance humanist education that was usually reserved for noble born males.2 Showing an interest and talent for the arts early on, Sofonisba’s father was inspired to have his daughters trained in painting, an experience usually denied to females, unless their father was also an artist, as in Lavinia Fontana’s case. Since Amilcare was a businessman, and not an artist, he had his two eldest daughters; Sofonisba and Elena take drawing and painting lessons from the Cremonese artist Bernardino Campi, which were carefully chaperoned by Campi’s wife, to safeguard the reputation of the Anguissola girls.3
Sofonisba Anguissola was not the first woman of her time to branch out of the constricting social norms for women in the Italian Renaissance. Isotta Nogarola was a well known fifteenth-century humanist from Verona, Italy who was an extremely educated for a woman of her time. She was also a pioneer, in the sense that she was trying to break into the sphere of education and book-learning that was highly regarded as a man’s domain. When she writes a letter to the famous male educator Guarino and he does not answer her, her modesty is compromised and questioned. 4 Not everyone embraced a woman straying so far from “women’s work” and her critics considered her “improperly talkative”, and attacked her in an anonymous pamphlet in 1438, accusing her of incest.5 Nogarola’s experience presents an example of how contemporary educated women were viewed when they refused to conform to social norms, and represents the vulnerability of a learned women seeking recognition.6 Men had a very hard time accepting learned women because at this time it was widely believed only men had the biological and physical capacities to deeply engage in theoretical learning, and more importantly, men were created superior to women.7 A learned woman such as Nogarola would either have been viewed as “a male soul that had been born in one of a female sex” or that she “belonged to a third amorphous sex”.8 Anguissola would later be confronted by a very similar problem since it was also believed that only men carried the spark of invention and creativity, as argued by Aristotle in earlier times, and still believed in Sofonisba’s contemporary society.9
In traditional female portraiture women were depicted one of two ways. Either the woman was used as a living symbol of her husband’s families’ wealth and power, or the woman was a visual representation for the artist’s vision of ideal beauty. In Antonio Pollaiuolo’s Portrait of a Young Woman from 1475, a beautiful young woman with very light blonde hair poses profiled to her right, with soft gazing eyes that stare out in front of her, avoiding the viewer’s gaze. Her identity can no longer be confirmed, but this type of portrait is usually labeled as a “marriage portrait”, commissioned to celebrate a marriage, and the joining of two upper-class families through civil union. Wound through her pulled up hair, and strung around her neck are intricate strands of pearls with large jewels attached. Pearls were seen as a symbol of a woman’s virtue and purity, two very important traits needed by a prospective or just married bride. She sits against a background of soft blue, and wears a deep burgundy garment with a large intricate pattern embossed on the shoulder and sleeve. This pattern is most likely an insignia representing her husband’s family, worn by women members as a status symbol for their wealth and power. During the Renaissance it was commonplace for woman to act as vehicles and symbols of their husband’s wealth. Represented within the context of the marriage portrait, women were stripped of their individuality to act as status symbols, modeling the insignia of the family woven into the expensive fabrics of their dresses and wearing the precious jewelry owned by her husband’s family.
When not acting as living symbols, women were represented as the epitome of female beauty in portraits that did not represent an actual woman, but represented more of an ideal of a beautiful woman. This can be seen in Botticelli’s Image of a Beautiful Woman from around c. 1480-85, in which again there is a very young blonde woman turned to her right in profile. This woman is much more simply dressed in a red garment with a black panel across the front. As opposed to the woman in Pollaiuolo’s portrait this woman’s sexuality is defined, in how massive her heavy hair is, and the way it is falling and tumbling out of the braids and wraps which try to confine it. Also different is how low cut her dress is, exposing her milky white chest and neck to the viewer. There are also similarities to Pollaiuolo’s painting in a similar blue sky in the background, this time seen through an open window, and the pearl motif, which can be seen braided through her hair and set atop her head. Both women represent the standard of beauty in the Renaissance, derived from Petrarch’s canzoniere written in the fourteenth century in which Petrarch beautifully articulates his love for a woman named Laura, who had a long graceful neck, light blonde hair, symmetry in her features, ivory skin, a high brow line, soft pink cheeks and rosebud lips. Portraits of women who adhere to Petrarch’s standard for ideal beauty, underline the contemporary tastes and style, not their own individuality or talents, as Anguissola’s self-portraits do.
In 1558, Sofonisba created her Family Group, a painting of her father, Amilcare, younger sister, Minerva, and younger brother, Asdrubale, which shows the female artist in a slightly broader context in which both males and females are present, which is different from her self-portraits. Art historian Mary Garrard argues this group portrait portrays an accurate view of the gender inequalities between male and female family members, a perspective rarely acknowledged in Renaissance family portraiture, which instead usually showing male and female family members as inaccurately gender-equal.10 The painting reflects the patriarchal system Sofonisba lived in; Amilcare shows his favor for Asdrubale, the younger long-awaited male heir, by clutching him to his side with his left arm, while ignoring Minerva, his older, female child, to his right, even as she tries to get his attention. Garrard also believes the idealized view of Cremona in the background represents the lands Asdrubale will inherit when he comes of age, and Amilcare’s close proximity to the boy as well as his gestures imply his hopes for Asdrubale to carry on the family business and support the family.11Ironically, Sofonisba ended up being the savior to her father’s failing business, and supported her entire family while working as the court painter to the Spanish Queen for the duration of her father’s life, then supporting her brother after her father’s death as well.
During the Renaissance subtle social climate shifts occurred that made it more socially acceptable for Sofonisba Anguissola to pursue a career as a female artist. But while women’s rights were progressing, many people continued to disagree that women contained the capacity to create, and women continued to be viewed as second-class citizens. Humanist educators began to acknowledge women more and more during this period and came to realize that they also had the capacity for intellectual and artistic studies. In 1480, the Defense of the Women was written which praised the accomplishments of women, including women poets, humanist learners and even painters. Vasari, the contemporary Italian historian and author of his Lives of the Artist acknowledged women painters in his second edition of Lives, which included commentary on Sofonisba Anguissola and her works. In 1566, Vasari visited the Anguissola household, during the time Sofonisba was working as a court painter in Spain, to view for himself the work of the female artist. Upon seeing her Chess Game of 1555, he marveled at the life-like qualities of her portraiture and remarked that they were “wanting nothing save speech”, which he wrote in his description of Sofonisba in Lives.12 But while Vasari praises Anguissola he also suggest that there might be a connection between Sofonisba’s biological capacity to “create men” and her artistic ability to “represent men”.13 Gender inequalities could be traced back to biology and sexual reproduction, and thought to be supported by scientific evidence. It was believed by Aristotle as well as Vasari that men were the only gender to “create” because they provided the semen that was molded inside woman’s ovum, which without, conception could not take place.14
Sofonisba Anguissola was in a position no woman before her had ever been. In the height of her career she was receiving high commissions as a court painter and made enough money to support her family, while still maintaining her dignity and place in society as a woman painter of noble birth. Her early self-portraits, the way in which she was able to navigate through opposing spheres, as well as the help of her father, were the key to her landing the prestigious position as a court painter to the Spanish King, Phillip II and the personal painting teacher to the Queen, Isabel de Velois. Anguissola always had to be cautious and aware of her place as a woman. Art historian Joanna Woods-Marsden argues Sofonisba would have encountered a tension of spheres, and her role as a woman, as well as a painter would change according to what sphere or context she was in. At this time, the public sphere was considered the domain of male activity, while unmarried females were expected to stay within the private realm of their households, to preserve their dignity and remain chaste.15 With limitations on where Anguissola could go as an unmarried woman, she was forced to find subject matters within her daily life of living at home with her family. Her self-portraits and portraits of family members can be seen as feminine subject matter, as opposed to male artists who did more of historical and religious scenes. As a woman, Anguissola was also not in professional competition with male artists because she did not work on commission, since nearly all of her works were intended as gifts.16 Sofonisba also faced the problem of her talent as a female artist being undermined by critics, either by being categorized as “only a woman”, accomplished by over sexualizing her in order to deny Sofonisba of her accomplishments by saying she was physically incapable, or being labeled “not-woman”, accomplished by describing Sofonisba as sexually perfect and idealizing her to the point where it distracted attention from her threatening achievements.17
In an early self portrait, her Self Portrait of 1554, a very young Anguissola sits in three quarters view, her body turned slightly to her right; her head looking back frontally to face the viewer. Her body position is different from the marriage portraits I discussed earlier, which shows her desire to be viewed as an individual and not be associated with that tradition in portraiture. Anguissola paints herself against a dark green background, wearing a very plain garment of dark brown and black, with a high neck and long sleeves. She is much unadorned, with no jewelry around her neck or wrists, or her hair severely pulled back hair, and tied in a neat bun at the nape of her neck. She wears no markers of her wealth and noble standing, with only a small hint of white lace peeking out of her collar and wrists. Her face is a soft creamy ivory, with pink flushed cheeks and red lips, to show her youth. While she is beautiful, she does not fit with the Petrarchan standards, and represents an image of an actual, recognizable person. Anguissola’s large, piercing green eyes seem to hold the viewer’s gaze as she holds open a very small book with the thumb of her left hand. Written in neat script on the page of the book is Sofonisba Anguissola virgo se ipsam fecit 1554 translated as Sofonisba Anguissola, the unmarried maiden painted this herself, 1554. This portrait proves that even from the beginning of her career, Sofonisba worked as the creator of her paintings, and came up with the concept to paint on her own, even though it was believed women didn’t have the capacity to create. This is believed to be the earliest signed and dated autonomous self-portrait in Italian art, and also the first book seen in a self-portrait, regardless of the artist’s gender.18 Anguissola’s use of the term virgo has been interpreted as a positive term used to define herself, because of the connotations it held for independence and self-determination.19
Another self-portrait in which Sofonisba chooses to describe herself as a virgo is her Self-Portrait miniature on copper, created in c.1555. In this small-scale roundel painting Sofonisba portrays herself very similarly to her self portrait from 1554; against a dark green background, in a somber concealing black dress, with her hair pulled austerely back to a bun, unadorned by jewelry of any kind. New however, is the large circular object Anguissola holds in her hands, covering her body almost like a shield. The large disk is a dark green with large-scale gold script in the middle, of the upper-case letters E, R, A, C, K, Y, and M. These intertwining letters creates an emblem and riddle whose meaning has not been deciphered by art historians, but would have been understood and appreciated by the recipient of the self-portrait when given to its recipient.20 Riddles were popular in intellectual circles of the time, and by including one, Sofonisba is displaying her learning in a fun and appropriate way.21
Interestingly, along the perimeter of the disk, outlined in a rim of gold is the inscription Sophonisba Anguissola Vir[go] ipsius manu ex [s]peculo depictam Cremonae which translates to painted from a mirror with her own hand by the Cremonese virgin Sofonisba Anguissola.22 It is noteworthy to acknowledge Sofonisba’s use of a mirror in creating this image, because like transparent glass the mirror was a religious metaphor for the Virgin’s unspotted purity, in which Sofonisba is appropriating to show her own chastity.23 The mirror also functioned as a way to reinforce the fact that she was a virgo, or virgin, since she could create images of herself and practice her artistic skills in a way that did not risk damage to her purity, or break social conventions of the time, because the use of the mirror allowed her to work alone in the domestic realm of her family home.24 Sofonisba would have also been familiar with Boccaccio’s On Famous Women, whose text concerning ancient women painters was greatly influenced by the ancient historian, Pliny the Elder’s descriptions of women painters of antiquity, who were known to specialize in self-portraiture rendered from mirrors.25 With no predecessors to direct her in how to portray herself or what kind of art she should be producing as a woman artist, Sofonisba may have found guidance and some solace in knowing she was continuing a tradition of self-portraiture started by ancient women painters.
In Sofonisba’s undated Self-Portrait Painting the Virgin and Child she presents herself with the same facial features and background, dressed almost identically to her securely dated self-portraits from the early 1550’s, leading me to argue this was created around the same time, while Sofonisba was living at home in Cremona, before she turned twenty years of age. Sofonisba had done multiple versions of this painting, probably intended as gifts to different people, but in every version she portrays herself at her easel actively painting the Virgin and Child, with paintbrush and palette in hand. Choosing to show herself painting the two most famous symbols of Christianity, strongly communicates not only her own devoutness, but also makes a powerful statement that as a female artist she feels confident and capable in creating a religious scene, a subject usually only executed by male artists.26 In the version that is currently in the Zeri collection at Mentana there is an additional inscription on the painting which reads I, the maiden Sophonisba, equaled the Muses and Apelles in performing my songs and handling my colours, which shows Sofonisba explicitly promoting her skill to be as great as that of Apelles, the most talented male painter of Antiquity.27 Sofonisba is making a bold claim to say her she is equally talented as a man, and not just any man, but the most famously talented ancient male painter, no less.
Sofonisba created another action portrait in 1563 titled Self Portrait at the Virginal in which she paints herself in her usual austere black outfit seated at the virginal, also known as a spinet, which is a piano-like instrument. With this self-portrait Sofonisba was breaking new ground, as no male artist before her had shown themselves as a musician in a self-portrait.28 By portraying herself in the act of playing music, Sofonisba might have been expressing the link between her accomplishments as a musician and those as a painter29, since both mediums are considered arts, and to be musically talented was appropriate for a woman and appreciated in aristocratic circles as a sign of a well-bred lady. The maid’s presence in the background, acts a chaperone to the young Sofonisba, again showing her social status as a virtuous noblewoman. By choosing the virginal in particular, Sofonisba was consciously making connections back to virgo, by using a play on the word virginal back to its root, virgin; virgo in Latin. The term virgo is very close to another term, virago, and to someone living in Renaissance Italy, virgo would remind them of virago, especially within the context of a self-portrait done by a woman artist.30 To be a virago was to be a ferocious female force of nature, such as the Amazon female warriors of ancient myth.31 Sofonisba may have had this more ambitious implication in mind when choosing to label her works with virgo, strengthening the argument that this was how she saw herself, as a powerful female force. The inclusion of the virginal also indicated a coded symbol within the work that functioned on many levels as an aid to how she defined herself as a strong and capable woman artist.
Sofonisba Anguissola was the first woman to have a long and illustrious painting career, due not only to her talent and skills as an artist, but also to the way in which she promoted herself through gift-giving, and her father’s role in advancing her fame and ability in art and intellectual circles. Sofonisba developed a program of gift-giving, in which she used her self portraits as a tool to gain recognition as a woman painter. She would send important artists, friends, and potential patrons paintings she had done of herself, in order to promote her talent for capturing a likeness and to encourage them to commission her to create a portrait of their likeness.
Amilcare Anguissola also acted as an intermediary figure between Sofonisba and important people and patrons by writing letters for her. This role is apparent in the literary evidence that survives, which documents Sofonisba’s father exchanging letters with the court of King Phillip II, arranging Sofonisba’s move to Spain to serve as court painter to Queen Isabel.32 Also documented is Amilcare’s role of aiding a professional relationship between the young Sofonisba and Michelangelo, one of the most famous Italian painters of the time. Amilcare sent drawings his daughter had created to Michelangelo in the hopes that it would draw recognition and prestige to Sofonisba.33 Important to note, however, is that later in Sofonisba’s life, circumstances shifted to allow Sofonisba the ability to correspond directly with male patrons, including Pope Pius IV, whom she responded to herself when he wrote in 1561 inquiring about acquiring a portrait of the Spanish queen done by Sofonisba.34
To understand Sofonisba in more of a context of female artists, it is useful to compare her to another female artist of the sixteenth century, Lavinia Fontana. Anguissola can be seen as the predecessor to Fontana, who further develops the standing of the woman artist, and appropriates Sofonisba’s program of self-definition to fit her needs. Although they are both women painters, there are some notable differences between Sofonisba and Lavinia, the most notable being that Lavinia was the daughter of an already established painter, Prospero Fontana, who ran a workshop in Bologna, the same one Lavinia apprenticed in, and eventually took over after her father’s death. Lavinia’s career took a different path than Sofonisba’s and she never became a court painter, but instead established her own successful workshop in Rome.35 Lavinia was also not born into an aristocratic family, as Sofonisba was, but as different as these women were, they were both on the very forefront as female artists.
In Lavinia Fontana’s Self Portrait Making Music from 1577, the artist is subtly portraying herself using two common contemporary ideals about woman during the Renaissance; that the woman artist is a marvel of nature for both her artistic abilities, as well as for her physical beauty.36 Certainly the second claim can be seen in this work, as Fontana chose to dress herself in a richly ornate red gown with a high lace collar, intricate shoulder decorations, wearing jewelry including multiple necklaces and hair pieces. Her elaborate attire is a striking point of contrast from the austere modest black garments Sofonisba chose to portray herself wearing in her self-portraits. Art historian Katherine McIver argues Fontana goes beyond Sofonisba’s action portraits to show an empty easel in the background, almost like a challenge to herself.37 The inscription in the left top corner of the painting reads Lavinian virgo Prosperi Fontanae/Filia ex speculo imaginem/oris sui expresi anno 1577 which translates to Lavinia maiden daughter of Prospero Fontana has represented the likeness of her face from the mirror in the year 1577. Since Lavinia also inscribes her work with virgo and plays the virginal, I argue she is appropriating Sofonisba’s program of self-portraiture and use of virgo for her agenda to promote herself as a strong female artist. Sofonisba opened the door for Fontana to become a painter and Fontana contributes her own inventions and takes the status of the woman artist further.
In Lavinia Fontana’s later Self-Portrait in the Studiolo from 1579, Lavinia presents herself as a scholar seated at her desk surrounded by antique sculptures, as a sign of her education and learning, an invention never attempted by Anguissola.38 Also invented by Fontana is her description of her studiolo, taking special care to render particular details of the creative space in which she works, such as the small ink well that sits on her desk, or the rectangular cubbies that line the back wall.39 Fontana chooses to portray herself as a finely dressed lady, in a lavish grey-violet embroidered gown with wide white sleeves, lace, and jewels, even more ornate than her red gown in her Self-Portrait Making Music. On the desk in front of Lavinia sits a single blank sheet of paper, emphasizing the artist’s decision to portray herself in the initial stage of creation, when she would be inventing a concept to execute, a process which relies solely on her intellect and imagination.40 I would argue she is making a very strong commentary on the status of the female artist, and looks out at the viewer as if to say, ‘I can be a woman, an artist, as well as intellectual and learned.” While the method and symbolism may be different from Sofonisba’s program of virgo, in this self-portrait, the message of women’s artistic capabilities remains the same. Lavinia might have felt fewer constraints in the way in which she represented herself, because of her background training in her father’s professional workshop, and due to the fact that she was accepted by most as a professional painter in Bolognese artistic circles.41
Sofonisba Anguissola not only made incredible gains for women in the male-dominated realm of painting, but also was also influential in developing the popularity of genre scenes, which emerged in Italian art around the end of the sixteenth century. In Sofonisba’s The Chess Game from 1555, the same painting Vasari praised for its life-like figures, three of Sofonisba’s younger sisters, Lucia, Europa, and Minerva, accompanied by their nurse, sit around a small table playing chess, smiling and laughing. This painting functions as both a group portrait, to show the features of the sitters, dressed in colorful, richly embroidered gowns, as well as a genre scene as Sofonisba conveys the narrative that the girls are actively playing chess, and are laughing and enjoying themselves. The scene offers a glimpse at sibling interaction between three sisters, and is a rare example of expressive sixteenth-century portraiture, since individual and group portraiture was usually extremely formal without showing emotion, acting more as a document, than as a narrative.42
It is significant Sofonisba chose to portray her sisters playing the game of chess, because of the contemporary status and controversy of the game. The game of chess underwent a rule change in c.1510 that made the queen piece the most powerful piece on the board, even more so than the king.43 Combined with the fact that chess was considered a very intellectual game, Sofonisba might have been making a subtle commentary on women’s status in education, to create a scene showcasing women’s intelligence and power. Art historian Marry Garrard also argues that Sofonisba had created a composition of glances and gestures between the sisters to show the influence and connection they shared to Sofonisba, who acted as their role model and art teacher.44 The youngest sister, Lucia, looks to Minerva, who looks across the board to Minerva, who calmly stares out at the artist, Sofonisba. Through these glances Sofonisba creates both a self-contained narrative with the interaction of the sisters, and also a scene that interacts with the viewer through Minerva’s gaze. With the inclusion of the maid, who acts as a chaperone to the young girls to safeguard their virtue45, and the mountainous landscape, depicted in atmospheric perspective in the background, it can be argued this scene was invented by Sofonisba, who again proves wrong the theory that women do not contain the capacity to create.46
Sofonisba’s drawing of the Old Woman Studying the Alphabet, with a Laughing Girl from c.1545, show just how talented Sofonisba was at capturing and portraying a scene of intimacy. Although this is only a rough sketch, the determination on the older woman’s face as she reads from a book is clearly visible, as is the young girl’s confident smile as she points to her pupil with pride. This drawing is truly unique because of the way Sofonisba switched the age roles of the two women, to have a younger teacher instructing an older student. It is argued this was one of the drawings Amilcare sent to Michelangelo to try and advance his daughter’s career, and although it has not been documented that Michelangelo saw this exact drawing, he reportedly saw a drawing done by Sofonisba of a laughing girl. Michelangelo responded to Sofonisba (through Amilcare), that he would have preferred to see a weeping boy because that emotions was more difficult to draw, and Sofonisba sent him Boy Pinched by Crawfish, in return.47 This drawing has been severely damaged over time but still shows a male young toddler crying as a small crawfish dangles from his left hand, with a slightly older female youth with her hand around his shoulders, trying to comfort him. The models for the drawing were most likely Sofonisba’s siblings, although there are no records to say for sure. When Sofonisba journeyed to Rome in 1554 to study art, it is believed she studied with Michelangelo, with whom she maintained a close professional relationship with, and who showed her kindness and encouragement.48
Sofonisba and her career had a lasting impact on the next generation of master painters, both male and female. It was reported that after seeing a portrait by Sofonisba and hearing how successful she was, Lavinia Fontana and Irene di Spilimbergo were inspired to become female painters as well.49 When Sofonisba moved to Sicily much later in her life, she befriended the young Flemish painter Anthony Van Dyke, and became his “unofficial” tutor, advising him in painting techniques.50 Van Dyke supposedly said that he “learned more from a sightless old woman than from all the master painters in Italy.”51 Sofonisba’s reach and influence on the profession of painting, women artists, and future generations of artists, is an invaluable piece of history in Italian art and shows the genius of a woman who developed a unique program of self-portraiture appropriating the term virgo to command respect and recognition as a woman artist living in a man’s world, pioneering a place in this world.
Broude, Norma and Mary D. Garrard. Reclaiming Female Agency. California: University of California Press, 2005. Print.
Ferino- Pagden, Sylvia. Sofonisba Anguissola: A Renaissance Woman. Washington D.D.: National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1995. Print.
Fortune, Jane. Invisible Women. Florence: The Florentine Press, 2010. Print
Garrard, Mary D. “Here’s to Looking at me: Sofonisba Anguissola and the Problem of the Woman Artist.” Renaissance Quarterly 47.3 (1994): 556-622. Print.
Hull, Vida J. “The Single Serpent: Family Pride and Female Education in a portrait by Lucia Anguissola, a Woman Artist in the Renaissance.” Southeastern Collage Art Conference Review 16.1 (2001): 11-22. Print.
Jacobs, Frederika H. “Woman’s Capacity to Create: The Unusual Case of Sofonisba Anguissola.” Renaissance Quarterly 47.1 (1994): 74-101. Print.
King, Catherine. “Looking a Sight: Sixteenth-Century Portraits of Women Artists.” Zeitschrift fur Kunstgeschichte 58.3 (1995): 381-406. Print.
McHam, Sarah Blake. Pliny and the Artistic Culture of the Italian Renaissance. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013. Print.
McIver, Katherine A. “Lavinia Fontana’s “Self-Portrait Making Music”.” Women’s Art Inc. 19.1 (1998): 3-8. Print.
Perlingiere, Ilya Sandra. Sofonisba Anguissola: The first Great Woman Artist of the Renaissance. New York: Rizzoli, 1992. Print.
Woods- Marsden, Joanna. Renaissance Self-Portraiture. New Haven: Yale University Press. 1998. Print.