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Isabel de Valois holding a Portrait of Philip II
Oil on canvas. 1561 - 1565
Anguissola, Sofonisba
Isabel de Valois holding a Portrait of Philip II
Oil on canvas. 1561 - 1565
Anguissola, Sofonisba

This portrait is a full-length likeness of Philip II’s third wife, Queen Isabel de Valois. She wears a black gown with pointed sleeves and a long train that is curled around her body and billows at the back. Poking out from beneath her hanging sleeves, held in place with ruby and diamond buttons and lined in white fabric, are silver and gold undersleeves. The one-piece gown is decorated with appli

Philip II
Oil on canvas. 1573
Anguissola, Sofonisba
Philip II
Oil on canvas. 1573
Anguissola, Sofonisba

Sofonisba Anguissola arrived in Spain in 1559 to serve as a lady-in-waiting to Philip II’s third wife, Elizabeth of Valois (1546-1568). A renowned painter in her native Cremona, she held no official post related to her profession at the Spanish court, but we know that she made numerous portraits of the Royal Family. Those works reveal her understanding of Spanish court portraiture, but they also c

Portrait of Queen Anna of Austria
Oil on canvas. 1573
Anguissola, Sofonisba
Portrait of Queen Anna of Austria
Oil on canvas. 1573
Anguissola, Sofonisba

Though she drew on models characteristic of Spanish court portraiture, the soft modelling, diffuse lighting and subtle brushwork are distinctive features of Sofonisba’s own style, and of the Lombard painting of her day. Sofonisba achieved great renown, and worked at the Spanish court from 1559 to 1573. This may therefore have been her last commission in Spain, intended as a companion piece to her

Giovanni Battista Caselli, Poet from Cremona
Oil on canvas. 1557 - 1558
Anguissola, Sofonisba
Giovanni Battista Caselli, Poet from Cremona
Oil on canvas. 1557 - 1558
Anguissola, Sofonisba

The identification of this elderly gentleman sitting at a desk in his study is borne out by the inscription on the fore edge of the book he is writing in, which displays the words "rime del casellio". Giovanni Battista Caselli was a poet and medal engraver who enjoyed certain prominence in Cremona during his lifetime, though there is little reliable information about him today. Nevertheless, Casel

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