The Easel

Archives: Laphams Quarterly

12th October 2021

The Artist Paints Herself

From a recent book, three self-portraits by women artists active in the 17th century. Before her early death, Sirani’s self portraits showed her beauty – less self-flattery than a way to emphasise agency. Anguissola fearlessly showed herself in old age, a pushback against expectations that she portray idealized feminine youth. Carriera’s “brutally honest” image of herself in middle age is an “embodiment of the passing of the seasons, as if she were not only a woman but a landscape as well.”.