Mini Biography: Josefa de Óbidos

Birth: 1630
Death: July, 22nd, 1684
Nationality: Portuguese
Movement: Baroque

Although de Obidos was born in Spain (her mother was from Andalusia) she lived all but the first 4 years of her life in her father’s country of origin, Portugal. Her father, Baltazar Gomes Figueira, and godfather,  Francisco Herrera the Elder, were both painters.
Two of her earliest known works were engravings of St. Catherine and St. Peter were completed when she was approximately 16 years old and a signed painting for the Augustinian Monastery of Santa Cruz was finished the following year in 1647. Over a career that spanned 4 decades de Obidos painted several altarpieces as well as portraits and still life paintings for churches throughout Portugal and in the process became one of the most important painters in Portugal. While about 150 works were once attributed to her, her reputation as a female painter in a time not known for female painters seems to have overly inflated her oeuvre, art historians in more modern times have verified a body of work that contains 53 pieces.

Some of her notable pieces include: the Portrait of Faustino das Neves (the header image is a digitally altered copy of das Neves) created in 1670; Santa Teresa Esposa Mística (1672); and Still Life with Sweets (1679) pictured below:


De Obidos, Josefa. Still Life with Sweets (1679), Santarém, Portugal.