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Italian Renaissance Learning Resources

In collaboration with the National Gallery of Art

Fontana, Lavinia

(b Bologna, bapt 24 Aug 1552; d Rome, 11 Aug 1614). Daughter of Prospero Fontana. She was trained by her father and followed his Mannerist style. Her first recorded works, which date from 1575, were small paintings for private devotion, such as the Holy Family (Dresden, Gemäldegal.). By 1577 she had become established as a portrait painter in Bologna. . . . Her portrait style reflects the formality of Central Italian models as well as the naturalistic tendencies of the North Italian tradition. . . . In naturalism and treatment of detail her portraits are comparable with those of her famous North Italian predecessor, Sofonisba Anguissola (e.g. Portrait of a Woman, 1557; Berlin, Gemäldegal.).