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A Tale of Two Women Painters: Sofonisba Anguissola and Lavinia Fontana

27 – 28 January 2020

Aimed at shedding further light on the theme of this exhibition, which for the first time brings together key works by two of the most outstanding women painters of the second half of the 16th century, the Education Department of the Museo del Prado has organised a two-day conference that will take place in the auditorium from 27 to 28 January 2020.

Experts and researchers from all over the world will gather to share with the general public their latest findings about the careers of these two painters who achieved fame and recognition among their contemporaries but whose names fell into oblivion over time.

Public Programs
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25 November 2019 – 20 January 2020
27 – 28 January 2020
General public
Auditorium, Museo del Prado
Jerónimos entrance
€80 (concessions apply)
Education Department Museo Nacional del Prado
Leticia Ruiz. Head of the Department of Spanish Painting (up to 1700) Ana Moreno Rebordinos. Head of the Education Department. Museo Nacional del Prado


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  • Standard: €80
  • Students, unemployed and senior citizens: 50%
  • Teachers and arts professionals: 35%
  • Friends of the Museo del Prado Foundation: 20%



09.00 hReception, accreditation, verification of signatures and presentation of documentation
09.15 hWelcome and opening remarks

Andrés Úbeda de los Cobos. Deputy Director. Museo Nacional del Prado

09.30 hSofonisba Anguissola and Lavinia Fontana: The myth and the painter

Leticia Ruiz. Museo del Prado

10.15 hThe cultural and artistic training of Bolognese women in the 16th and 17th centuries

Vera Fortunati. Università di Bologna

11.30 hPainting in Cremona in the first half of the 16th century

Flavio Caroli. Art critic

12.15 hThe Anguissolas and Spain

Cecilia Gamberini. Researcher

13.00 hDebate
15.30 hAmilcaris filia seipsam fecit. Sofonisba Anguissola, identity under construction

Jorge Sebastián. Universitat de València

16.15 hBeing a lady at the Habsburg court

Vanessa Cruz. Researcher

17.00 hBetween Sofonisba and Sánchez Coello: The other portraitists at the court of Philip II

Almudena Pérez de Tudela. Patrimonio Nacional

17.45 hDebate
18.00 hFree tour of the exhibition
09.15 hAdmission and verification of signatures
09.30 hSofonisba and portraiture at the court of Philip II. Technical analysis

Laura Alba, Mª Dolores Gayo and Maite Jover. Museo Nacional del Prado

10.15 hBologna in the times of Lavinia Fontana

Maria Teresa Cantaro. Freelance researcher

11.30 hLavinia Fontana, a Bolognese portraitist

Angela Ghirardi. Università di Bologna

12.15 hMars and Venus, and the mythological painting of Lavinia Fontana

Enrico dal Pozzolo. Universitá degli Studi di Verona

13.00 hDebate
15.30 hLavinia Fontana and the limits of fame

Babette Bohn. Texas Christian University. Fort Worth, TX

16.15 hMaking female art visible: Thirty years of exhibitions on women artists

Sheila Barker. The Medici Archive Project (Florence)

17.00 hAre there still any great women artists or not? Some thoughts 50 years after Linda Nochlin's article

Sheila ffolliott. George Mason University. Virginia

17.45 hDebate and conclusions