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

  • Tom of Finland, Untitled, © Tom of Finland Foundation Tom of Finland, Untitled, © Tom of Finland Foundation

    Artist

    Tom of Finland: the Artist Who Created the Village People’s Look

    By

    Meet Tom of Finland, the artist that inspired the looks of Freddie Mercury and the Village People. He was friends with Robert Mapplethorpe, and Andy Warhol visited his first exhibition in a boot shop in 1978. His art revolves around strong gay masculinity, with men often...

  • Art Travels

    Travel in the Footsteps of Henri Matisse in Morocco

    By

    Until the advent of mass tourism, North Africa’s jewel, Morocco remained a relatively unknown world of Sultans, spices and sparse deserts. A number of artists throughout the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries visited this faraway land. Through their artworks, the public could learn about this unknown...

  • 20th century

    Let’s Ride a Tiger! Escape into the Exotic with Henri Rousseau

    By

    Let’s Ride a Tiger! Definitely not! We should never try to ride a tiger, and Rousseau does not suggest it either! It would be horrible (especially for the person I think). The art of Henri Rousseau is so exotic though that you could be forgiven for...

  • 19th Century

    A Queer World in Konstantin Somov’s Artworks

    By

    Konstantin Somov (1869-1939) was a Russian painter, co-founder of the artistic movement Mir Iskusstva and well known for his watercolors associated with the 18th-century style. A frequent inspiration for Somov’s artworks were the characters, Marquise and Harlequin; depicted with painted doll faces, and often shown kissing in the...

  • Art State of Mind

    Seven Books About Art for Holiday Chill

    By

    Holiday time but not sure if you can afford to travel? Or do you just need something to help forget about social distancing while relaxing somewhere and not being at work? Whatever you are looking for, a good book is what you might need. Of course...

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