Mini Biography: Elisabetta Sirani

Birth: Jan. 8th, 1638
Death: August, 28th, 1665
Nationality: Italian
Movement: Baroque
The eldest of 4 children she was taught to paint by her father and before the age of 20, with her father’s health was failing, she began running his workshop. She ran an extremely successful workshop with multiple students of both genders but is specifically credited with providing instruction to over 12 female painters. Sirani died suddenly at the age of 27 and while her father accused a servant of her murder and an art historian tried to blame it on her being lovesick it is more likely that she died from a complication from an ulcer. An extremely popular and prolific artist Sirani has also been fairly well recognized in more recent times. In 1979, Sirani was referenced in Judy Chicago’s piece The Dinner Party and in the 1990’s Sirani lent her name to a crater on Venus, one painting to a death metal band for an album cover, and a second painting to the U.S. Postal Service for a Christmas stamp.
Some of Sirani’s notable works include: Virgin and Child (1663), Portia Wounding Her Thigh (1664) and Self-Portrait as Allegory of Painting which is pictured below.
elisabetta_sirani_autorretrato_museo_pushkin_moscu
Sirani, Elisabetta. Self-Portrait as Allegory of Painting (1658), Pushkin Museum, Moscow. 

 

 

For more information on Sirani or her artwork check out the following sites:
National Museum of Women in The Arts (this site has at least 3 different pages on Sirani)
Muzeum umění Olomouc
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