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Anguissola, SofonisbaDate of birth and death: c. 1527 - 1625 Uploaded artworks: 12
Sofonisba Anguissola was born into a noble family in Cremona, Italy, between 1527 and 1530, the oldest of seven children. Her father, Amilcare Anguissola, had all of his children â€“ six daughters and one son â€“ given a classical education. Although it was rare for female artists to receive any recognition during her time, Anguissolaâ€™s extraordinary talent combined with her fatherâ€™s influence allowed her to become recognized as an artist. In 1559, she was invited to the court of King Phillip II of Spain to serve as a court painter and lady-in-waiting to the new Queen, Elisabeth of Valois.
In 1570, Anguissola was thirty-eight and still unmarried. After the death of Elisabeth of Valois, Philip II took additional interest in Sofonisba's future and arranged a marriage for her. Around 1571, she married Don Francisco de Moncada, son of the prince of Paterno, viceroy of Sicily. The wedding ceremony was celebrated with great pomp, and she received a dowry from the Spanish king. After eighteen years with the Spanish court, Sofonisba and her husband left Spain with the permission of the King sometime during 1578. They went to Palermo where Sofonisba's husband died in 1579.
At the age of forty-seven, while traveling home to Cremona, Sofonisba met the considerably younger Orazio Lomellino, the captain of the ship she was traveling on. They were married shortly afterwards, in January of 1580, in Pisa. Orazio recognized and supported her in her artwork and they had a long and happy marriage. They settled in Gena. Ozario's fortune plus a generous pension from Philip II allowed Sofonisba to paint freely and live comfortably. By now quite famous, Sofonisba received many colleagues who came to visit and discuss the arts with her. She was the leading portrait painter in Genoa until she moved to Palermo. She died in 1625 in Palermo.
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