Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Acquires a Lavinia Fontana Portrait

April 5 2021

Image of Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Acquires a Lavinia Fontana Portrait

Picture: VMFA

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has acquired a portrait by Lavinia Fontana (1552-1614). Although the identity of the sitter is not known, it has been suggested that it may depict Isabella Gonzaga (1565–1637).

According to Dr Sylvain Cordier, the museum's Paul Mellon curator and Head of European Art:

Here is a woman’s regard for another woman during an era when the very contours of womanhood were principally being delineated by men. A noble woman in this society had to struggle to affirm her place, her dignity and her authority. This representation of a confident and charismatic young noble woman will play a vital role in the development of the spectacular Grand Portrait Gallery that we are preparing for 2025. This gallery will assist our visitors to interrogate the constantly changing conventions governing gendered representation in European art over the course of several centuries.

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