The first monograph to examine Lavinia Fontana’s work in over two decades, and the first to focus on her striking portraits
Lavinia Fontana: Trailblazer, Rule Breaker explores this female Renaissance artist’s fascinating biography and the cultural climate that enabled her to become the first woman artist in Western Europe to gain commercial success beyond the confines of a court or a convent. Bringing together several strands of scholarship on Fontana and her contemporaries, it provides context to her career and examines areas underrepresented in current scholarship on the painter, including information on her workshop practice.
Focusing on the portraiture for which she was renowned, Lavinia Fontana tells stories that will be universally familiar—tales of family bonds, sibling rivalries, engagements, weddings, births, and deaths. Written by Aoife Brady, with contributions from one of the leading scholars on Fontana, Babette Bohn, and a foremost expert on Renaissance fashion, Jonquil O’Reilly, this engaging book explores Fontana’s world and how she forged a successful career in the male-dominated world of Renaissance Italy.
National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin (May 6–August 27, 2023)
Aoife Brady is curator of Italian and Spanish Art at the National Gallery of Ireland. Babette Bohn is professor emerita of Texas Christian University. Jonquil O’Reilly is an Old Masters specialist at Christies, New York.
“A fascinating account of a remarkable woman.”—Roderick Conway Morris, The Lady
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