Sofonisba Anguissola – Artwork and Bio of the Italian Artist


Sofonisba Anguissola was an Italian Renaissance painter born in 1532 in Cremona, Italy. Sofonisba was the first of seven children born to her parents, who were nobility. Her father, Amilcare Anguissola, recognized his children’s passion for the arts and duly provided them with a rich education. At age fourteen, Sofonisba was sent to study painting under Bernardino Campi – a prominent painter of the Lombard School.

In 1551, Sofonisba Anguissola started studying under Bernardino Gatti after Campi moved from the city. She had begun to gain recognition, as it was unusual for women to become artists in that era. At age twenty-two, Sofonisba traveled to Rome, making drawings of scenes and people. There, she met Michelangelo, who began to train her informally after recognizing her immense talent.

Sofonisba Anguissola had become widely recognized in Italy. In 1558, she traveled to Milan and painted a portrait of the Duke of Alba. The Duke loved the painting so much that he recommended her to King Phillip II of Spain. In 1559, she was invited to join the Spanish Court, serving as the court painter and lady-in-waiting to Queen Elisabeth of Valois. Sofonisba died on 16 November 1625 in Palermo, Sicily, as one of the most illustrious painters in the world.

What was Sofonisba Anguissola Known For?

Sofonisba Anguissola was known for her quality portraits and her influence on the involvement of women in art. Sofonisba mostly painted portraits of herself and her family until she became a court painter. She showed dexterity in details, even with the complex fabrics of the royal family. Also, Sofonisba was excellent with the use of color and chiaroscuro.

Who was Sofonisba Anguissola Influenced By?

Sofonisba Anguissola was influenced by Bernardino Campi and Bernardino Gatti, under whom she had studied. Campi and Gatti were prominent portrait painters, and the influence of their techniques is evident in Sofosniba’s artworks. Given how she studied sketches from the notebooks of Michelangelo, there is also a noticeable impact of the High Renaissance painter on Sofonisba’s works.

What Art Movement is Sofonisba Anguissola Associated With?

Sofonisba Anguissola was associated with the Renaissance art movement.

Sofonisba Anguissola Artwork

Below are some of Sofonisba Anguissola’s artwork.


Alessandro Farnese



Anne of Austria, Queen of Spain, fourth wife of Felipe II of Spain.



Artist’s Family


Bernadino Campi Painting Sofosniba Anguissola


Bernadino Campi Painting


Portrait of a nobleman’s wife



Portrait of Margherita of Savoy


Diane d’Andoins and her daughter



Don Carlos, son of King Philip II of Spain and Mary of Portugal



Portrait of a Lady and Her Dog


Portrait of a Lady



Elisabeth de Valois


Holy Family with St. Anne and St. John the Baptist



Infanta Catalina Micaela,Duchess of Savoy


Infantin Isabella Clara Eugenia


Infantin Isabella Clara Eugenia



Joven dama De Perfil



Little boy Pinched by a Crayfish and Little Girl laughing



Phillip II, King of Spain




Portrait of Bianca Ponzoni Anguissola, the artist’s mother.


Portrait of Juana of Austria (Portugal) and a Young Girl



Portrait of Marchese Massimiliano Stampa



Portrait of Minerva Anguissola



Portrait of the Artist’s family



Portrait of three children



Retrato de Felipe II



Self Portrait



Self Portrait at the Sppinet


Self portrait in old age


Self portrait in old age


Self Portrait


Self Portrait


Sofonisba Anguissola on her deathbed



The Artist’s Sister; Elena Anguissola in the garb of a nun



The Game of Chess


The Granddaughter of theDuke and Duchess of  Parma


The princesses Isabella Clara Eugenia and Catalina Micaela