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Famous Painters Blogroll

Anguissola, Three Sisters Playing Chess and Phillip II of Spain

Beckmann, Departure; Self-Portrait in Tuxedo; Sinking of Titanic

Bingham, Fur Traders Descending the Missouri

BonheurPlowing in the Nivernais

Bonheur, The Horse Fair

Botticelli Primavera

Caravaggio, Fashion and Art History

CaravaggioConversion of St. Paul

Caravaggio, Young, Sick Bacchus and Basket of Fruit

Caravaggio, Cardsharps and Fortune Teller

Caravaggio, St. Francis of Assisi in Ecstasy

Caravaggio, Taking of Christ (Kiss of Judas)

Caravaggio Paintings at the Villa Borghese

Cave Paintings

Cezanne, Bathers

Cezanne, Card Players

Cezanne, Most Famous Paintings 

Copley, Paul Revere

David, Death of Marat 

David, Death of Socrates

David, Napoleon Crossing the Alps

de Kooning, Retrospective at MoMA (Part I)

de Kooning,Excavation and Painting, 1948 

de KooningWoman I

Delacroix, Liberty Leading the People  

Diebenkorn, The Ocean Park Series

Duncanson, Robert Seldon.  Art History Welcomes Duncanson 

Durer, The Four Apostles

El Greco, Burial of Count Orgaz

FontanaPortrait of a Noblewoman

Frankenthaler, Color Field Painting and Mountains and Sea

Gainsborough, The Blue Boy

Gentileschi, Artemisia.  Judith Beheading Holofernes

Gentileschi, Artemisia.  Self-Portrait as an Allegory of Painting 

Ghent Altarpiece.  

Ghent Altarpiece via zoom

GiorgioneThree Philosophers 

Goya, Family of Charles IV

Goya, The Third of May 1808 

Goya, Duchess of Alba; Saturn Devouring his Son; Two Old Men; Half-Submerged Dog; Black Paintings

Grunewald, Isenheim Altarpiece

Hals, Banquet of the Officers of the St. George Civic Guard

Hals, The Laughing Cavalier

Hals, Regents of St. Elizabeth's Hospital

Hopper, Nighthawks

Ingres, Grande Odalisque and Portrait of Madame Moissetier

Isenheim Altarpiece

Kahlo, Renowned Frida Kahlo Paintings.  

Angelica Kauffmann.  Self-Portrait Torn Between Music and Painting and David Garrick.  

Klimt, The Kiss and Adele Bloch-Bauer

Leonardo, Painter at the Court of Milan, National Gallery, London 

Leonardo, La Bella Principessa 

Leonardo, New Mona Lisa

Leonardo, Benois Madonna and Madonna Litta 

Leonardo, Savior of the World(Salvator Mundi) 

Leonardo, The Virgin and Child with St. Anne

Leyster, Famous Female Painters 

ManetA Bar at the Folies-Bergere

Manet, Luncheon in the Studio

Manet, The Old Musician

Manet, Street Singer

MantegnaDead Christ

Matisse Paintings, In Search of True Painting

Matisse, The DanceThe Music

Matisse, The Cone Collection

Matisse, The Red Studio

Matisse, The Yellow Dress

Michelangelo, Crucifixion with the Madonna

Michelangelo, Famous Paintings

Michelangelo, La Pieta with Two Angels (latest attribution?)

Michelangelo, St. John the Baptist Bearing Witness

Modersohn-Becker, Famous Female Painters

Monet, Waterlilies

Morisot, Famous Paintings

MorisotMore Famous Paintings

Munch, The Scream

O'Keeffe, Jack in the Pulpit

Picasso, Girl Before a Mirror

Picasso, Nude, Green Leaves and Bust

Picasso, Portrait of Gertrude Stein

Picasso, Las Meninas

Piero della Francesca, The Baptism of Christ

Poussin, Assumption of the Virgin

Raphael, Sistine Madonna

Rembrandt, Aristotle with a Bust of Homer 

Rembrandt, Night Watch

Rembrandt paintings at Frick Show

Rembrandt, Self-Portrait at an Early AgeJeremiah Lamenting the Destruction of Jerusalem, The Jewish Bride

Rembrandt, The Syndics of the Amsterdam Drapers' Guild

Rubens, Venus and Adonis

Sanchez Cotan, Spanish Still-life

Sargent, El Jaleo

Sargent, Madame X

Steen, The Christening Feast 

Steen paintings at Frick Show

Tanner, The Banjo Lesson and The Thankful Poor

Titian, Assumption of the Virgin

Titian, Bacchus and Ariadne

Titian, Man with a Glove

Titian, Nymph and Shepherd, Allegory of Prudence, Jacopa Strada, St. Jerome, Slaying of Marysas

Titian, Rape of Europa

Turner, J. M. W, The Fighting Temeraire

Uccello, Battle of San Romano

van der Weyden, St. Luke Drawing the Virgin

Velazquez, Pope Innocent X

Vincent van Gogh paintings up to 1889

Vincent van Gogh paintings, 1888-1890

van Eyck, Arnolfini Portrait

van Eyck, Adoration of the Lamb

van Eyck, Ghent Altarpiece

van Gogh, The Potato Eaters

van GoghMemory of Garden at Etten; Tatched Cottages; White House

van Gogh,  Portrait of Madam Trabuc; Morning: Going Out

van Gogh, Starry Night

Velazquez, Juan de Pareja

Vermeer, Girl with a Pearl Earring

Vermeer, Saint Praxedis

Vermeer, The Kitchen Maid

Vermeer, The Allegory of Painting

VermeerGirl with the Red Hat

Warhol, Campbell's Soup Cans

Warhol, Marilyn Diptych and Gold Marilyn 

Warhol, Mao 

Anders Zorn

Famous Paintings by Art Museums - ebooks

Learn about famous paintings to see in these art museums:

Albright-Knox Art Gallery (Buffalo, NY). One of those intimate, small art museums with a stellar collectionFamous Paintings at Albright-Knox. 

Art Institute of Chicago: Plan to see these famous paintings at the Art Institute -- and download an ebook about them.

Louvre Museum, (Paris): one of the largest art museums in the world! Know which Louvre paintings not to miss in this sortable ebook. 

Mauritshuis Museum: explore works by renowned Dutch painters

Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York City): download the ebook, Famous-Paintings-Metropolitan-Museum, to learn its must-see masterpieces.

National Gallery (London): with 2300 famous paintings alone in its European painting section, discover highlights to see!  Art Paintings to See at the National Gallery.

Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam): 10 famous paintings not to miss

Washington, D.C. Art Museums: Explore forty famous paintings in Washington, DC in this article.

Most Popular Posts

Michelangelo PaintingsThe Torment of Saint Anthony; The Manchester Madonna;Holy Family (Doni Tondo); and Entombment

Cave Paintings: explore this prehistoric art in Spain and France.

Picasso's Las Meninas: 58 Picasso paintings inspired by Velazquez's Las Meninas

Ghent Altarpiece: the van Eyck masterpiece, one of the most famous artworks ever made. 

Survey of Renaissance Paintings: want to know what Renaissance paintings were all about? Start with 20 of its most famous painters in this sweeping survey! 

Discover more of readers' favorite art history blog posts. 

Female Artists

While we long for the time when artists are artists and genderless, that time isn't yet here.

These are a few of the female artists who've left lasting legacies in the history of painting:

Sofonisba AnguissolaThree Sisters Playing ChessPhillip II of Spain

Rosa Bonheur.  Plowing in the Nivernais.  Horse Fair.

Lavinia Fontana. Portrait of a Noblewoman.

Helen Frankenthaler. Color Field Painting and Mountains and Sea. 

Artemisia Gentileschi.  Judith Beheading Holofernes.  Self-Portrait as an Allegory of Painting.

Frida Kahlo.  Frida and Diego Rivera.  The Two Fridas.  The Love Embrace of the Universe. 

Angelica Kauffmann.  Self-Portrait Torn Between Music and Painting.  David Garrick.

Judith Leyster.  Self-Portrait.  The Proposition. 

Paula Modersohn-Becker. Self-Portrait with an Amber Necklace. Still Life with Goldfish. 

Berthe Morisot.  Refuge in Normandy.  The Cradle. 

Georgia O'Keeffe. Jack in the Pulpit Series. 

Survey of Female Artists

Art History Other

Art History Blogs

ArtDaily: daily breaking news about art museums and art history.

Art Blog by Bob: this brilliant art history blogger of Picture This on Big Think.

Art History Resources. Unwieldly but informative.

Marisol Roman.  A Spanish art history blog.

Mother of all Art & Art History Links: extensive list of online art history resources (including images, research resources, and art history depts.)

smARThistory. Think online art history textbook.  Brilliant. 

Art History Beyond Europe

Famous Paintings ebook

This free ebook has a wealth of facts and articles about the 250 influential paintings in Masterpiece Cards.

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Famous Paintings Reviewed

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Female Painters: Sofonisba Anguissola


An art history blog post from Famous Paintings Reviewed.

Although Sofonisba Anguissola (1532-1625) was one of the most famous female painters (if not the most famous) of the Italian Renaissance, she is somewhat obscure in today's history of art.  Here's a small start to changing the legacy of this remarkable painter.

female-painters-AnguissolaHer name comes from a Carthaginian princess deemed "exceedingly beautiful and notable, both in music and in writing", which were aspirations held by her father Amilcare.

Sofonisba Anguissola, Three Sisters Playing Chess.  Oil on canvas, 1555.  Approximately 28" by 38".

He subscribed to the education philosophy of Baldassare de Castiglione, who professed in The Courtesan (1528) that females should receive the education typically reserved for males; as such, Sofonisba Anguissola and her five younger sisters were taught music, painting, Latin and the humanities.

Sofonisba Anguissola, excelling at a young age, studied with the painters, Bernardino Campi and Bernardino Gatti. Forbidden from seeing nude men in anatomy or life drawing classes, Anguissola focused on portraiture.  By the age of 15, she was renowned for their expressiveness.  At 20, Sofonisba Anguissola created one of her most famous paintings, Three Sisters Playing Chess (above), a well-known masterpiece of the Renaissance art. 

Her sister, Lucia, gazes confidently at the viewer after capturing the queen of Minerva, who raises her right hand in surprise. The youngest sister, Europa, is captured in a flash of spontaneous laughter while a servant looks on; the match unfolds before the hazy background painted in the Renaissance art technique of sfumato.

Sofonisba Anguissola had a dash of the revolutionary about her -- not only was this portrayal of an everyday, informal domestic scene, or genre painting, the first in Italian painting, but also chess was typically played only by upper class men or nobility, not women; they were painted performing domestic pursuits. 

Renaissance-paintings-anguissolaAs her reputation spread beyond Italy, Phillip II of Spain asked Sofonisba Anguissola to become lady-in-waiting and art teacher to Queen Isabella of Valois.

Sofonisba Anguissola, Phillip II of Spain.  Oil on board, circa 1564.  Prado, Madrid.

Anguissola left her native Cremona in 1559, and spent the next decade painting all members of the royal family, including a portrait of the Queen commissioned by the Pope.

Instead of being compensated with monetary payments as male court painters were, female artists like Sofonisba Anguissola often received luxurious gifts for which no records were kept. As such, there are fewer historical clues - and much controversy - in attributing paintings to Sofonisba Anguissola

One such painting is Phillip II of Spain, originally attributed to Alonso Sanchez Coelloa fellow court painter, but attributed to Anguissola in 1996. She portrays a somber Phillip II fingering his Order of the Golden Fleece and dressed in the high hat and black clothing that typified his midlife.

Perhaps after more Sofonisba Anguissola paintings are identified, she'll regain the stature she had with the Florentine biographer, Filippo Baldinucci: in his book Lives (1681), he lavishly praised Sofonisba Anguissola and compared her to one of the most famous painters of all, Titian.


Thank you for the posts. I do have a degree in Art History, but your posts fill in the blanks, since it is impossible to cover all of it in school.
Posted @ Sunday, May 08, 2011 9:33 PM by Frances Johnson
Thanks for your feedback -- I'm thrilled to know that the posts are helpful!  
Posted @ Monday, May 09, 2011 8:52 AM by Susan Benford
Great post! I've never read Baldinucci's biography on Anguissola. I'll have to look into it. Does Baldinucci discuss her in much depth? I remember that Anguissola only got a little attention from Vasari.
Posted @ Monday, May 09, 2011 4:57 PM by Alberti's Window
I'd heard her name before but never knew much about Sofonisba Anguissola. This makes me want to find out more.  
Another blog I follow, Old Paint ( an Anguissola painting posted today, of Sofonisba's sister Minerva. It's a beautiful picture, and a funny coincidence since you had just posted this recently! 
Thanks for the post!
Posted @ Saturday, May 14, 2011 12:26 PM by Val S.
I tried to leave a message before, but it didn't work. I'll try again, but it's not easy typing Sofonisba Anguissola! 
I really enjoyed this post - it makes me want to learn more about S.A. In an odd coincidence, another blog mentioned her today, with a portrait of her sister, Minerva. Maybe Sofonisba is in the zeitgeist at the moment.
Posted @ Saturday, May 14, 2011 7:05 PM by Val S.
I've had to add "comments moderation" due to spam comments, so it seemed your comment didn't publish. 
I'm quite fascinated by Anguissola, too -- so phenomenally accomplished at such a young age, in an era so unsupportive of female painters!  
I don't find many books about her, but this one appears to have the best reviews: Sofonisba Anguissola: A Renaissance Woman. 
Posted @ Sunday, May 15, 2011 7:21 AM by Susan Benford
Thanks for the reply, Susan. Sorry I was so impatient!
Posted @ Monday, May 16, 2011 9:54 PM by Val S.
I think there has been some renewed interest in Sofonisba--lately. (In response to a previous post.) This has always been a favorite of mine, but it hardly ever makes it into College textbooks; when it does, the author seems to give us very little information about her. My favorite I think has to be little Europa in this painting, though--she reminds me of my youngest daughter Amber--and when we look at the painting we know everything about the politics of the rivalry among the sisters! Thank you for the article.... Seeing the picture again made a very bad week, a bit better.... 
Posted @ Sunday, June 05, 2011 5:58 AM by Kelly Knox
I agree -- the girls' rivalry is nearly palpable! One of my readers suggested a new book about Sofonisba -- it's called The Creation of Eve<i/> and is by Lynn Cullen. Looks like it's gotten solid reviews so far -- if you read it before I do, please share your feedback! 
Posted @ Sunday, June 05, 2011 7:49 PM by Susan Benford
Are there any books about her?
Posted @ Sunday, December 04, 2011 1:36 PM by Anonymous
I've been digging around for some books on Anguissola and find that there are few. A reader suggested one I've yet to read, The Creation of Eve by Lynn Cullen.  
Susan Benford
Posted @ Wednesday, December 07, 2011 7:31 AM by Susan Benford
I read the book mentioned above by Susan. It's historical fiction. The author writes a fictional account about the time when Sofonisba came to the Spanish court to tutor the new queen of Spain in drawing. It's a pretty good read. One can imagine the role of women at that time, especially an artist, and the author creates a pretty good story. It made me curious about this artist, that Ihad to find out more about her.
Posted @ Saturday, February 18, 2012 9:01 PM by Madeline
I love Sofonisba! I recently did some research on her and was able to see her gorgeous self portrait in Naples. I find there are a lot of attributions to Sofonisba Anguissola. She must have made a profound contribution, especially in the world of female artists of the time.
Posted @ Thursday, August 23, 2012 8:57 AM by Beatrice Portinari
It IS thrilling that she is winning the respect she deserves. Thanks for the link to many paintings and attributed paintings by her, too.
Posted @ Friday, August 24, 2012 8:55 AM by Susan Benford
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