Lucia Anguissola

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Lucia Anguissola, Self-Portrait, 1557. Castello Sforzesco, Milan.
Lucia with her sisters Europa and Minerva. Painted by Lucia's sister Sofonisba.

Lucia Anguissola (1536 or 1538 – c. 1565, before 1568) was an Italian mannerist painter of the late Renaissance.


Anguissola was born in Cremona, Italy, Lucia Anguissola was the third daughter of seven children born to Amilcare Anguissola and Bianca Ponzone. Her father Amilcare was a member of the Genoese minor nobility and encouraged his five daughters to develop artistic skills alongside their humanist education. Lucia probably trained with her renowned eldest sister Sofonisba Anguissola and her work, mainly portraits, is similar in style and technique. Lucia's skill was seen by contemporary critics as exemplar. According to seventeenth-century biographer Filippo Baldinucci, Lucia had the potential to "become a better artist than even Sofonisba" had she not died so young.[1]

One of her extant paintings, Portrait of Pietro Maria, Doctor of Cremona, (early 1560s)[2] 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).[3] 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, in the Pinacoteca Tosio Martinengo in Brescia and the Museo Poldi Pezzoli in Milan, probably of Minerva Anguissola, may also be by Lucia.


  1. ^ Gaze, Delia (1997). Dictionary of Women Artists: Artists, J-Z. Taylor & Francis. p. 190. 
  2. ^ Museo del Prado in Madrid.
  3. ^ 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

External links[edit]

Media related to Lucia Anguissola at Wikimedia Commons