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Sofonisba Anguissola

1532 – November 16, 1625

Mannerist Painter


According to art historian Shearjashub Spooner "Her name having become famous in Italy, in 1559, the King of Spain ordered the Duke of Alba, who was then at Rome, to invite her to the court of Madrid. She arrived there in the same year, and was received with great distinction, and lodged in the palace. Her first work was the portrait of the king, who was so much pleased with the performance that he rewarded her with a diamond worth 1500 ducats, and settled upon her a pension of 200 ducats. Her next sitters were the young queen Elizabeth of Valois, known in Spain as Isabel of the Peace, then in the bloom of bridal beauty, and the unhappy boy, Don Carlos. By the desire of Pope Pius IV., she made a second portrait of the Queen, sent to his Holiness with a dutiful letter,which Vasari has preserved, as well as the gracious reply of the pontiff, who assures her that her painting shall be placed among his most precious treasures. Sofonisba held the post of lady-in-waiting to the queen, and was for some time governess to her daughter, the Infanta Isabella Clara Eugenia,—an appointment which proves that she must have resided in Spain for some time after 1566, the year of that princess' birth."

Famous Artists Working In The Mannerist Style

Paolo Veronese

Jacopo da Pontormo

Alessandro Allori

El Greco

Giorgio Vasari

Giovanni Rosso Fiorentino

Agnolo Bronzino

Parmigianino

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