Art as Autobiography: Sofonisba Anguissola and Artemisia Gentileschi as Case Studies




Penny, Sofia

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Feminist theory has developed through the years but its goal remains the same, to highlight issues that arise from gender as it works as an oppressive force and impacts art in its fabrication and patronage. A feminist analysis is crucial for artists such as Sofonisba Anguissola and Artemisia Gentileschi as sexism plagued their lives and made access to the art scene nearly impossible. Their work results in a visual biography due to the undergoing of a performance that is unique to the female experience. As they were considered minority members in society, they had to prove their value and integrity. The construction of female identity inserts itself in even the minor details of paintings. Biographical information, along with contextual, and a focus on the formal qualities of art, is key to understanding their works. It is through a mixture of a formal and feminist analysis that we can read these paintings as visual autobiographies in which performance plays a key element.



Gentileschi, Artemisia, Anguissola, Sofonisba, feminist, formalism, performance, Honors College


Penny, S. I. (2022). Art as autobiography: Sofonisba Anguissola and Artemisia Gentileschi as case studies (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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