FONTANA, Lavinia


FONTANA, Lavinia
(1552-1614)
Lavinia Fontana is credited with being the first female painter in Italy to enjoy a successful career as an artist working in an urban context. Lavinia accepted private and public commissions, painting numerous portraits and public altar-pieces. Lavinia had the advantage of being trained by her father, Prospero Fon­tana, a painter regarded as one of the leading artists in Bologna. Lavinia also had the good fortune to be born in Bologna, an important Italian artistic center.
Lavinia was best known as a portraitist, but her oeuvre included a wide range of subject matter. Her works frequently drew on biblical and mythological set­tings, which incorporated numerous figures, including male and female nudes. Another of Lavinia's significant accomplishments included earning the degree of dottoressa from the University of Bologna in 1580.
Breaking artistic ground, Lavinia accepted and completed several large-scale public commissions. The Spanish court provided her with her first opportunity to execute a large-scale religious commission of the Holy Family (c. 1589). Lavinia's altarpiece painting of the Holy Family with the Sleeping Christ Child, which is in the Escorial, the Spanish royal palace located near Madrid, is still considered a masterpiece.
Lavinia's international reputation earned her the patronage of a succession of popes. Lavinia, along with her artist husband, Gian Paolo Zappi, whom she had married in 1577, and their family, moved to Rome in 1603 in response to a papal invitation. The best-known public commission she executed in Rome, her painting of The Stoning of St. Stephen Martyr for the altarpiece in the church of S. Paolo Fuori le Mura, an important pilgrimage church in Rome, proved a disappointment for her contemporaries upon its completion (1603-4). It was destroyed in a fire in 1823, making it impossible to judge the success or failure of this significant work today.
A portraitist and a producer of religious paintings, Lavinia Fontana enjoyed a successful career as a respected artist who achieved international fame. In 1611 a medal was struck in honor of Lavinia's artistic accomplishments. Her contemporaries and patrons, such as Pope Gregory XIII and Pope Clement VIII, held her in high regard, so much so that she was elected to membership in the Roman Academy. Of the over one hundred works she is credited with producing, only thirty-two signed and/or dated works can be securely attributed today.
Bibliography
A. S. Harris and L. Nochlin, Women Artists, 1550-1950, 1976: 111-14. C. Murphy, "Lavinia Fontana: The Making of a Woman Artist," in Women of the Golden Age, ed. E. Kloek, N. Teeuwen, and M. Huisman, 1994: 171-81.
Debbie Barrett-Graves

Renaissance and Reformation 1500-1620: A Biographical Dictionary. . 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Fontana, Lavinia — (8/24/1552 Bologna 8/11/1614) (Italy)    Painter. Daughter of well known painter Prospero Fontana who trained her. She became one of the most renowned Bologna Mannerists, respected in her own right. Her work included nudes and mythologically… …   Dictionary of erotic artists: painters, sculptors, printmakers, graphic designers and illustrators

  • Fontana, Lavinia — ▪ Italian painter born 1552, Bologna died Aug. 11, 1614, Rome       Italian painter of the Mannerist school, one of the first women to execute large, publicly commissioned figure paintings.       She studied with her father, Prospero Fontana (c.… …   Universalium

  • Fontana, Lavinia — (1552 1614)    Italian painter, a native of Bologna and daughter of the painter Prospero Fontana. She has the largest extant body of work by any female artist active before 1700, a considerable achievement for a woman who also bore her husband (a …   Historical Dictionary of Renaissance

  • Lavinia Fontana — Selbstporträt von Lavinia Fontana Lavinia Fontana (* 24. August 1552 in Bologna; † 11. August 1614 in Rom) war eine italienische Malerin des Manierismus. Leben Lavinia war die Tochter de …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Lavinia Fontana — Autorretrato de Lavinia Fontana conservado en los Uffizi. Lavinia Fontana (Bolonia, bautizada el 24 de agosto de 1552 Roma, 11 de agosto de 1614) fue una pintora italiana del primer barroco …   Wikipedia Español

  • Lavinia Fontana — (August 24 1552 August 11 1614) was an Italian painter.BiographyLavinia Fontana was born in Bologna, the daughter of the painter Prospero Fontana, who was a prominent painter of the School of Bologna at the time and served as her teacher.… …   Wikipedia

  • Lavinia (disambiguation) — Lavinia was the daughter of Latinus and Amata in Roman mythology.Lavinia may also refer to:* Lavínia, São Paulo, Brazil * Lavinia (band), a Virginia musical group * Lavinia (genus) , a genus of cyprinid fish containing the hitches * Lavinia… …   Wikipedia

  • Lavinia della Rovere — Lavinia della Rovere, auch: Lavinia Feltria della Rovere (* 16. Januar 1558 in Pesaro; † 7. Juni 1632 in Castellone), Prinzessin von Urbino, war die Ehefrau von Alfonso Felice d’Avalos d’Aquino d’Aragona (1564–1593) und wurde dadurch zur… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Fontana — (italienisch für Brunnen) ist der Name folgender Orte: Fontana Liri, eine Gemeinde in der Provinz Frosinone in Italien Fontana (Chaco), eine Gemeinde in der Provinz Chaco in Argentinien Comandante Fontana, einen Ort im Departamento Patiño der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Lavinia — steht für: Lavinia (römische Mythologie), die Tochter des Latinus und der Amata in der römischen Mythologie Lavinia (Gattung), eine Gattung der Leuciscinae, einer Unterfamilie der Karpfenfische eine Figur in William Shakespeares Titus Andronicus… …   Deutsch Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.