Reframing History: Luisa Roldán

Luisa Ignacia Roldán (1652-1706) is the earliest documented woman sculptor in Spain, recognized by the Hispanic Society museum as “one of the few women artists to have maintained a studio outside the convents in Golden Age Spain.” She was the daughter of sculptor Pedro Roldán and studied in her father’s workshop alongside her siblings. AroundContinue reading “Reframing History: Luisa Roldán”

Reframing History: Lady Elizabeth Wilbraham

Lady Elizabeth Wilbraham is considered by some to be the United Kingdom’s first female architect and a major patroness of architecture during the 17th century. Born into aristocracy in 1632, Lady Wilbraham married Thomas Wilbraham, the heir to the baronetcy of Wilbraham in 1651. During their honeymoon, the couple traveled throughout Europe and Lady WilbrahamContinue reading “Reframing History: Lady Elizabeth Wilbraham”

The Father of Art History: Giorgio Vasari

Anyone who has studied Renaissance art history can’t escape one name: Giorgio Vasari. Often described as a “father” of art history, Vasari is best known for his Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects. This text, a foundation text of art history, is also the keystone of much of our knowledge (and misinformation!)Continue reading “The Father of Art History: Giorgio Vasari”

Reframing History: Sister Plautilla Nelli

Sister Plautilla Nelli (1524-1588) was a self-taught artist and is often considered the first known woman artist of Florence. She was a nun in the Dominican convent of St. Catherine of Siena, where she was heavily influenced by the teachings of Dominican friar and avid preacher Savonarola. Savonarola advocated for devotional paintings and encouraged womanContinue reading “Reframing History: Sister Plautilla Nelli”

Reframing History: Chen Shu 陳書

Chen Shu (1660-1735) was born into an elite family in Jiaxing, China and was the daughter of an artist. This allowed her to study painting as a young girl, despite the mixed feelings about women’s education at the time that kept only a few women of the elite from pursuing an education. Chen Shu studiedContinue reading “Reframing History: Chen Shu 陳書”

Reframing History: Giovanni Antonio Bazzi, aka ‘Il Sodoma’

Giovanni Antonio Bazzi was born in Piedmont, Italy in 1477. He studied the strong coloring and style of the Lombard school of painting, but went on to adopt many of the stylistic features of Leonardo. He is best known for completing a number of church frescos throughout Siena. He is one of the first toContinue reading “Reframing History: Giovanni Antonio Bazzi, aka ‘Il Sodoma’”

Reframing History: Sofonisba Anguissola

Sofonisba Anguissola was an Italian Renaissance painter born to minor nobility in Cremona, Italy. She was the eldest of seven; six sisters and one brother. Her father, Amilcare, insured his children received a proper education in the humanities and fine arts and he arranged for Sofonisba and her sister, Elena, to study with Bernardino Campi,Continue reading “Reframing History: Sofonisba Anguissola”

Reframing History: Juan de Pareja

Juan de Pareja (c. 1606-1670) was born into slavery in Antequera, near Malaga, Spain. He was the son of an enslaved African woman and a white Spanish father. He was typically described as a “morisco,” meaning of mixed parentage and unusual color. While this may refer to his mixed race heritage, it may also referContinue reading “Reframing History: Juan de Pareja”