Lucia Anguissola

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Lucia with her sisters Europa and Minerva. Painted by Lucia's sister Sofonisba.

Lucia Anguissola (1536 or 1538 - d. ?Cremona, c. 1565, before 1568) was an Italian mannerist painter.

Very little is known about Lucia’s life. No birth records remain, although her death (in her twenties) has been traditionally dated to 1565. Few of Lucia’s paintings are known and only two extant are signed.

Born in Cremona, Italy. She was the third of five daughters all of whom were painters. Her father, Amilcare Anguissola, was a member of the Genoese minor nobility and encouraged all his daughters to develop artistic skills. Lucia probably trained with her eldest sister Sofonisba Anguissola and her work, mainly portraits, is similar in style and technique. Lucia was the most talented of Sofonisba’s sisters.

One of her extant paintings, Portrait of Pietro Maria, Doctor of Cremona, (early 1560s)[1] was praised by Vasari, who saw it when he visited the family after her death. It is a sensitive portrayal, in a restricted palette of greys and browns. Lucia places a snake on the doctor's walking stick to allude to the caduceus to show he is a doctor. Lucia's skill is demonstrated in her ability to illustrate the sitter's personality in the animated face with a cocked eyebrow and the shoulders held are at different levels. Lucia's only other signed work is a half-length self-portrait (c. 1557).[2] Lucia also painted a Virgin and Child, and A Portrait of a Woman (early 1560s; Rome, Gal. Borghese) is thought to be either a self-portrait by her or Sofonisba, or a portrait of Lucia by Sofonisba. Two portraits (Pinacoteca Tosio Martinengo in Brescia & Museo Poldi Pezzoli) in Milan, probably of Minerva Anguissola, may also be by Lucia.

As Lucia died in her 20s, she did not have the opportunity to rival her sister.


  1. ^ Museo del Prado in Madrid.
  2. ^ Castello Sforzesco in Milan.
  • Perlingieri,Ilya Sandra, Sofonisba Anguissola,, Rizzoli International, 1992 ISBN 0-8478-1544-7
  • Harris, Anne Sutherland and Linda Nochlin, Women Artists: 1550-1950, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Knopf, New York, 1976

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