Lavinia Fontana died on this day in Rome in 1614. She was 62 years old. Women were typically excluded from artistic training in the Renaissance, but Lavinia was able to learn from her father, the Bolognese Mannerist Prospero Fontana (d. 1597). She began her career in Bologna painting small devotional works and portraits. She also painted history paintings, like her acclaimed Noli me tangere, now in the Uffizi. She ended her career in Rome, where she received important commissions to provide altar decorations for the churches of S. Paolo fuori le mura and S. Maria della Pace. Lavinia has the largest oeuvre of any woman prior to 1700, an accomplishment even more impressive considering she had eleven children.
“Fontana (ii): (2) Lavinia Fontana.” Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press.