Irene di Spilimbergo

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Irene di Spilimbergo (1540 - 15 December 1559) was a female Italian Renaissance painter.


She is mostly known for an effusive volume of poetic elogies published two years after her death by Dionigi Atanagi and containing 279 Italian and 102 Latin poems, some anonymous, and others either penned or attributed to contemporary cultural figures including Lodovico Dolce, Torquato Tasso, Titian, Girolamo Muzio, Luigi Tanzillo, Giuseppe Bettusi, and Benedetto Varchi.

Born in Spilimbergo (in the Province of Pordenone), a small town about thirty kilometers northwest of Udine, by report she demonstrated her artistic abilities at a young age. She is compared sometimes with another woman painter, Sofonisba Anguissola (born in Cremona and of greater longevity (1532–1625). Irene studied under Titian for two years. Few if any of her works are known. Her true nature and skills are difficult to sift from the poetic legend; she was for her eulogists the equivalent of the prototypic ever-innocent feminine charm, what Beatrice was to Dante and Laura to Petrarch, although girded with a paint-brush for the craft-oriented Renaissance.

She died in Venice at the age of 19.

External links[edit]

  • ArtNet biography via the Internet Archive
  • Irene di Spilimbergo: The Image of a Creative Woman in Late Renaissance Italy, Anne Jacobson Schutte, Renaissance Quarterly, Vol. 44, No. 1 (Spring, 1991), pp. 42–61