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  • Posts Tagged ‘LAVINIA FONTANA’


    Friday, March 8th, 2024
    Lavinia Fontana – Portrait of Antonietta Gonzales, 1592T

    This re-discovered portait of Antonietta Gonzales by Lavinia Fontana is at Rob Smeets Gallery of Geneva on Stand 348 at TEFAF Maastricht which runs until March 14. Like her father and siblings Antonietta suffered from hypertrichosis or werewolf syndrome, a genetic disease that causes invasive hair growth. Her father Petrus Gonzales was offered to Henri II, King of France, as a gift for his coronation and worked at the royal court under the title Monsieur Sauvage. His eventual marriage to Catherine Raffelin, Antonietta’s mother, is believed to be the basis for the story of Beauty and the Beast.

    Lavinia Fontana, regarded as the first professional woman artist in European art history, is able to capture the tenderness of the ten year old Antonietta with a clear empathy between artist and sitter.


    Thursday, May 4th, 2023
    Lavinia Fontana, Minerva Dressing, 1613. Galleria Borghese, Roma

    Lavinia Fontana: Trailblazer, Rule Breaker, the major summer show at the National Gallery of Ireland, runs from May 6 until August 27. The late sixteenth-century Bolognese artist is widely considered to be the first female artist to achieve professional success beyond the confines of a court or a convent. Fontana was the first woman to manage her own workshop, and the first woman to paint public altarpieces and female nudes. She maintained an active career, painting for many illustrious patrons, while also taking on the role of wife and mother.

    The first monographic exhibition to examine Fontana’s work in over two decades, and the first to focus on her portraits the show brings together a selection of her most highly regarded works from international public and private collections, alongside the artist’s celebrated The Visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon, from the Gallery’s own collection. The recent conservation of this Renaissance masterpiece was supported by Bank of America.

    Lavinia Fontana, Self-Portrait at the Virginal, 1577.  Accademia Di San Luca


    Wednesday, December 14th, 2022
    Lavinia Fontana (1552-1614) – The Visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon, 1599 Photo-National Gallery of Ireland

    Long-term corporate partner Northern Trust will sponsor the National Gallery of Ireland’s much-loved annual calendar over a three-year period. In 2023 there will be 12 works by women artists from the national collection among the pages.  Paying homage to women artists throughout history the calendar features works by Sofonisba Anguissola, Alicia Boyle, Mildred Anne Butler, Diana Copperwhite, Lavinia Fontana , Evie Hone, Mainie Jellett, Norah McGuinness, Gabriele Münter, Alice Neel, Elizabeth Rivers and Mary Swanzy.

    The Lavinia Fontana work illustrated here is the image for next May. The painting will be on display in the exhibition Lavinia Fontana: Trailblazer, Rule Breaker at the gallery from May 6 to August 27 next. This is supported by exhibition partner Bank of America.  Corporate partnerships with the Gallery offer the opportunity to work with Ireland’s premier cultural institution and make an impact on its range of exhibitions and programmes. This partnership with Northern Trust follows similar collaborations with ESB, Zurich Insurance plc, Grant Thornton, SMBC Aviation Capital and others.


    Monday, November 21st, 2022
    Panel 3.  Goossen Van der Weyden, (1455–1543)  Dymphna and her Companions about to Emabark, ca 1505
    © The Phoebus Foundation, Antwerp

    The 2023 exhibitions programme announced today at the National Gallery of Ireland includes major new shows by Lavinia Fontana and Sir John Lavery. Lavinia Fontana Trailblazer Rule Breaker will run from May 6 to August 27. Fontana is widely considered to be the first female artist to achieve professional success beyond the confines of a court or a convent and was the first woman to manager her own workshop.

    Lavery On Location from October 7, 2023 to January 14, 2024 will focus on some of the key destinations depicted in Lavery’s art from Scotland to Palm Springs. Special features will be the works produced at Grez-sur-Loing – his ‘happiest days’ – and in Tangier. There are also studies from Switzerland, Spain, Ireland and Italy, and depictions of cities from Glasgow to London, Venice, Cannes and New York.

    In 2016, the Phoebus Foundation in Belgium undertook a large-scale restoration project focusing on an altarpiece triptych in their collection by Goossen van der Weyden (1455-1543). St Dymphna, The Tragedy of an Irish Princess from January 28 to May 28 at the National Gallery features the altarpiece, the only work of its kind to focus on the life of an Irish saint. Dymphna – a legendary 6th or 7th century Irish saint – was the daughter of a Celtic king. When Dymphna grew to resemble her mother, her widowed father decided to marry her. To escape his incestuous intentions, Dymphna fled Ireland for Geel in Belgium, with her confessor Gerebernus. Dymphna’s father pursued and killed them, and their bodies were buried on the spot by angels. The Church of St Dymphna in Geel, consecrated in 1247, still holds relics associated with the saint.


    Thursday, October 28th, 2021
    Lavinia Fontana (1552-1614)
    The Visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon, 1599
    Collection: National Gallery of Ireland

    Following an eighteen-month conservation and research project generously supported by Bank of America, Lavinia Fontana’s celebrated painting The Visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon was today unveiled at the National Gallery of Ireland. Part of the Gallery’s permanent collection, it is the largest surviving painting by one of the most renowned woman artists of the Renaissance. Funding for the conservation of this artwork was generously provided through a grant from the Bank of America Art Conservation Project.

    Lavinia Fontana was one of the most successful female painters in the history of Western art. The Visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon is widely recognised as Fontana’s most ambitious painting. On the occasion of the unveiling, the Gallery is delighted to also announce Lavinia Fontana: Trailblazer, Rule Breaker – a large-scale exhibition opening in the Gallery’s Beit Wing in May 2023. Exploring the artist’s extraordinary life through her paintings and drawings, it will be the first monographic exhibition of Fontana’s work in over two decades.

    The conservation treatment of The Visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon addressed structural issues as well as aesthetic ones. Research into the artist’s materials and techniques revealed fascinating details about the painting and its production. Cracking and instability in the over 400-year-old structure has been arrested so that the painting can be safely displayed and enjoyed for generations to come. After the painstaking removal of layers of dull and yellow varnish, many previously obscured details were uncovered during the conservation treatment. This included an inscription, dated 1599, on the base of an ornamental clock held by one of the figures in the composition. Scientific analysis has identified the pigments Fontana used and given new insights into her workshop practice.