Following Fontana

Following Fontana

This week I am in Italy and very absorbed by this book I mentioned before Christmas, Lavinia Fontana: Trailblazer, Rule Breaker, by Aoife Brady, Curator of Italian and Spanish Art at the National Gallery of Ireland. She curated there an extensive exhibition of Lavinia Fontana’s work in 2023 but it was unfortunately just too soon to be on my radar. I was still in ‘shirts and hands’ mode. At the National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin they have a very important work by Lavinia Fontana, The Visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon, 1599, which I hope to see before long.

This week I’m going to the Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna to see another outstanding work by Lavinia Fontana. Painted early in her career, in 1584, The Gozzadini Family was commissioned by Laudomia Gozzadini (to the right of the painting) to support her claim as the heir to the family’s fortune. Her father Ulisse Gozzadini is symbolically restraining the hand of her sister, Ginevra Gozzadini, who is painted in a rather unflattering light. Bizarrely Ulisse and Ginevra had already died by the time this painting was made.

You may be wondering where I’m going with this but trust me, there is a most intriguing story here to explore. Learning from the subjects and techniques used by Lavinia Fontana I am reinterpreting them through the lens of contemporary fashion.

Have a great week.

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