Sarah Bradford

Renaissance Woman

Lavinia Fontana: A Painter and Her Patrons In Sixteenth-Century Bologna

By

Yale University Press 236pp £45 order from our bookshop

LAVINA FONTANA’S SELF-PORTRAIT at the age of twentyfive presents her as she wished to be seen: a confident, well-dressed young woman in comfortable circumstances. She is seated at a keyboard instrument, indicating culture and accomvlishment. and attended by a maiiservant ‘holding her music-book. Her clothes look well enough and she wears a necklace of coral under a delicate lace ruff, but they are not sumptuous by Renaissance standards. In the background stands an easel, the means by which she earned her living. There is a distinct air of middle-class social aspiration about the painting, its composition clearly based on a similar but more striking self-portrait produced some twenty years earlier by a rival artist, the noblewoman Sofonisba Anguissola, and reproduced on the gentleopposite page in Caroline Murphy’s new book.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • What a charming, candid blogpost from one of our dear contributing editors. ,
    • RT : The first guess from one of my 1st graders was “death” and such an awed, somber, reflective hush fell over the clas… ,
    • Merry Christmas from Literary Review! Hope your stockings were laden with books, and the tree bending under the weight of further books....,
    • Last minute Christmas gift required? We're offering discounts on all our subscriptions (20% no less!) with the cod… ,
    • In this issue's 'Silenced Voices', Lucy Popescu writes of Thailand's restrictive lese-majesty laws and their latest… ,
    • "Gunn was a disciple of the American formalist Yvor Winters, but Winters’s poetry could never give off such a scent… ,
    • Christmas gift hunting? Why not give the gift of being even better read? We're offering discounts on all our subscr… ,