Luxury Design, Past & Present
This elegant painting is an 18th (possibly 17th) century copy of "Self Portrait at the Clavichord" by Sofonisba Anguissola (1527-1625).
Sofonisba Anguissola is one of the first great female artists of the Renaissance. According to the Benezit Dictionary of Artists, she "proved herself to be one of the finest portrait painters of the period." She was court painter to Philip II of Spain and Anthony van Dyck said he "had learned more from talking with Sofonisba Anguisciola than he had in the studios of the great masters."
In the original of this intriguing portrait, Sofonisba painted her governess, a stern if not menacing figure hovering to her right, just above the clavichord. This painting, almost certainly painted from the original, also depicted the governess but was later painted over, probably during the Victorian era. Examination under a black light reveals a large blotch covering the guardian.
This painting was relined in the 19th c. The early stretcher, probably dating to the 17th is cut down from a larger painting. The stenciled "49KP" is doubtless an early inventory number while the typewritten paper label is probably from a dealer or auction house. The giltwood frame is 20th century.