Sofonisba Anguissola was born on January 2nd, around 1537, in Cremona Italy.
Anguissola grew up in Cremona, Italy. In adulthood (1559), she received an invitation to the court of Philip II of Spain and lived in Madrid for about 14 years. In her late 30’s, she married Fabrizio de Moncada and lived with him for 8 years in Palermo. When he died, She then lived in Genoa with her second husband, Orazio Lomellini, until 1620.
Her father educated Sofonisba and her sisters in the arts, although it was rare for the times. She also, studied under frescoist Bernardino Campi early on in her career (around 1546).
Anguissola was incredibly successful for a women of her times. Her painting also reflected her life. They usually depicted wealth and upper class life. Additionally, she lived a very long life (she was about 90 years old when she died), and she never had any children.
Her work were typically “luminous energetic paintings of family groupings"(Biography 1). She also painted pictures of her family, and a self portrait.
Although she had a few minor patrons, her work was most heavily funded by Philip II of Spain-she painted for him for 14 years.
her work represents Naturalism. the majority of her works were of domestic themes. She painted scenes of activities that would happen day to day in somebody's home. She also introduced naturalism to the traditionally stiff home scenarios produced by her contemporaries. her works also included SECULARISM because they were very non religious. She focused on the human aspects of the world, and brought change to typically boring/male dominated aspects of everyday life.
Anguissola's most famous piece is "The Artist's Sisters Playing Chess", which was painted in 1555. The location of this work today is not known.
This painting was significant for its time because the game of chess was typically seen has an activity only played by males, but this painting depicts woman playing it. This painting emphasizes the idea that women could be intellectually accomplished and strategic. This idea was not common in SOFONISBA's time.
A Description of the Painting: This work features four women. Two are playing chess outside with a medieval landscape in the background. One of the women is looking at the viewer, smiling slightly. The other is looking at her with her hand up. There is a younger girl smiling, watching them play, and older women who might be a maid. This painting indicates high status and wealth.
This Piece is interesting to me because it was a revolutionary idea for the time. although it was not common, women could and did play games like chess.
"Sofonisba Anguissola." Encyclopedia of World Biography. Vol. 22. Detroit: Gale, 2002. Biography in Context. Web.