Connect with us

DailyArtMagazine.com – Art History Stories

My name is Sofonisba And I’m Michelangelo’s Gal

Artists' Stories

My name is Sofonisba And I’m Michelangelo’s Gal

And I don’t mean it as a mistress, no, no, I’m a respectable girl who comes from a little poor but still a noble family of Cremona. When I travelled to Rome, I was introduced to Michelangelo and he saw a great talent in me straightaway. I know I shouldn’t talk about it too much because modest girls don’t brag, but I somehow have to make a name as a professional painter.

My world my crayons

SSofonisba Anguissola, Self-Portrait, 1556, Łańcut Museum

Sofonisba Anguissola, Self-Portrait, 1556, Łańcut Museum

Michelangelo might have put a word for me to the queen of Spain, though he would never admit that. Anyway, she just loved my painting and asked me to tutor her a little. Not only was I one of the first girls to apprentice in professional workshops, but now I’m going to be a master myself! I’m going to travel even farther from home to stay at the Spanish court. I’m sure I’ll miss my little sisters but I can’t stop to paint!

My lovely sisters and my dear nanny

Sofonisba ANguissola, Lucia, Minerva and Europa Anguissola Playing Chess, 1555, National Museum, Poznań

Sofonisba Anguissola, Lucia, Minerva and Europa Anguissola Playing Chess, 1555, National Museum, Poznań


I was admitted as a painter to the king, it’s quite an honour. Moreover, king Philip promised to find me an aristocratic husband, hi hi. I paint mostly royal portraits, but it’s fun, I like observing people and ornate clothes. Life at court is never boring, so many balls, feasts and hunts!

Sofonisba Anguissola, Self-Portrait, 1610

Sofonisba Anguissola, Self-Portrait, 1610, Gottfried Keller Collection, Bern

I’m not a young gal anymore but my life is still good despite some issues with my eyes- I can’t see as well as before. I have had two loving husbands and I managed to save a small fortune thanks to quite a few commissions for my works. Last week I met this young Flemish artist, Anthony Van Dyck, who really wanted to paint my portrait. He’s a promising boy and I don’t even look that old on his portrait, although I’m already 92.


Magda, art historian and Italianist, she writes about art because she cannot make it herself. She loves committed and political artists like Ai Weiwei or the Futurists; like Joseph Beuys she believes that art can change us and we can change the world.

Comments

More in Artists' Stories

  • 19th Century

    Taras Shevchenko: A Ukrainian Liberty Idol

    By

    Taras Shevchenko was an outstanding Ukrainian artist and poet. Born to peasant family, he became a Ukrainian liberty idol and national, artistic hero. His artworks reflect critical problems of a 19th-century Ukrainian society. Yet today, his ideas are fresh and relevant. Serf Ukrainian Artist Taras Shevchenko...

  • Artists' Stories

    Painting of the Week: Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun, Self Portrait in a Straw Hat

    By

    Why is art history predominantly focused on male artists? Are there not enough female artists to fill textbooks? Of course there are enough, but this sexism has a long legacy and it continues even today. March is Women’s History Month, and to celebrate our artistic diversity...

  • 19th Century

    Lady in Blue: Yelizaveta Martynova, Ill-Fated Russian Female Artist

    By

    Can you name some female artists, and from Russia in particular? It’s difficult even for those who are really into art. This article tells the story of one of four women who entered the Imperial Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg at the end of the...

  • Artist

    Vasily Vereshchagin – Journey through India

    By

    Vasily Vereshchagin was a notable Russian solider, artist and writer in the 19th century. He was an outspoken critic of war who reformed the genre of war paintings by dispensing with traditional conventions that glorified war. As a prominent member of the Russian intelligentsia, Vereshchagin used...

  • The Death of Cleopatra by Edmonia Lewis cover The Death of Cleopatra by Edmonia Lewis cover

    Artists' Stories

    The Fabulous Sculpture and Mysterious Life of Edmonia Lewis

    By

    Edmonia Lewis (c. 1844-1907) was quite a force of nature. She was an African-American and Native-American woman who became an internationally-respected sculptor in the prejudiced 19th century. Her life was fascinating, but it’s difficult to uncover. Every source tells a slightly different story. Few primary documents,...

To Top

Just to let you know, DailyArt Magazine’s website uses cookies to personalise content and adverts, to provide social media features and to analyse traffic. Read cookies policy