Journal of Sofonisba Anguissola

1149 words 5 pages
Journal of Sofonisba Anguissola

From the Journal of Sofonisba Anguissola:
June 1, 1581
I have painted many self-portraits in my life, but the one that sticks out the most to me is the one in which I painted myself holding a book. I was born in a time, when women typically were not encouraged to obtain an education. My family, however, went against the grain, and actively supported my sisters and I in our education. Even today, as I write this, my society celebrates women for our “virtue and beauty,” (Niyazi, 2011) with our sole purpose being solely the “ambition to marry and bear children” (Niyazi, 2011). Nowadays, women in Italy are “consigned to sit in their palazzos and pursue needle work” (Burke, 1995) when not occupied with
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From amongst us seven children, my father had only one son, and only this one child had the ability to carry on our family name, therefore, this child was obviously very special to my father. This painting signifies the bonds of this relationship and the expectations that a father may have for his son.
The second painting would be The Chess Game, which I painted in 1555. The main subjects of this paintings are three of my sisters, Lucia, Europa, and Minerva, and our nurse. My sisters are playing a chess game and obviously enjoying it very much. The purpose of this painting was to show that women are just as capable of being intellectual as are our male counterparts. Chess is a challenging game to engage in, and it is truly a feat to beat another player. If I remember correctly, around the time that I had painted this particular piece, the rules of this ancient game were changed in order to “make the queen the most powerful pawn” (Niyazi, 2011) within the game, which was meant to reflect back upon my sisters playing.
The final painting that is remarkable to me is Portrait of Giulio Clovio, which represents the artis Giulio Clovio holding a small figure of the Flemish female artist, Levina Terrlinc, in his hand, and looking at the viewer. All throughout my artistic career, female artists were cultivated and developed under the tutelage of a famous male artist. I, myself, studied under the watchful eyes of Campi and Michaelangelo. Granted, I was able to