Sofonisba Anguissola Analysis

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1) Discuss the gaze represented by these two paintings. Whose gaze is privileged? How does the imagery tell us that? What is significant about the gaze portrayed or suggested by these two paintings?

Patricia Simons explained that women were the object of the male gaze. Women were portrayed to show off and express their virtue to men and display that they are worthy of marriage. In the painting of Bernardino Campi Painting Sofonisba Anguissola by Anguissola, the gaze of the male is dominating the artwork, Camoi is looking directly at the viewer as Anguissola eyes are averted. The viewer can not interact with Anguissola making this painting shifted towards male authority. Anguissola gaze is privileged because she is dressed in her finest showing off her wealth to men for marriage as well as showing female achievement. The significant of the gaze in this painting is it portrays a male who has the dominate gaze, painting the ideals of the perfect women at this time.
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The viewer has control of this painting since the gaze is to the side. The woman is looking directly in front of her while the male is looking straight towards her. The males gaze is privileged because he has the authority to look directly at her while the woman avoids eye contact. The significance about the gaze is that it is portraying a woman with all the ideals of the perfect wife. This painting would be categorized as a wedding portrait.

2) 2. According to Patricia Simons, what was the function of profile portraits of women in Renaissance Florence? How did the imagery relate to this purpose? (You can use this painting as a representative example, or bring in other examples from the reading—be sure to identify them fully in your answer by artist, title, and

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