Sophonisba Anguissola was an Italian portrait painter who was born about
1532 and died some 94 years later. Although her portraits appear stiff
and dark, they have a unique charm, with the added advantage that this
is a self-portrait. An industrious woman, she has abandoned any form of
head wear to show a tightly drawn-back hairstyle that denies it has any
length. Gone are the curls and wisps that suggest a frivolous woman.
Her appearance in dress, visage, and hairstyle are reminiscent of
the middle nineteenth century, days that had been darkened by Civil War.
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