100 Days of Art History Jinjins


Ana de Mendoza

I don't remember where I first saw this portrait, but it was too intriguing to not do. Her eyepatch stands out first and gives her an air of mystery and adventure, plus her lace collar and feathered hat are just a lot of fun. I do remember coming across this woman's story on the blog Rejected Princesses, which highlights women from history and myth who would not make good Disney Princesses.

The subject, Ana de Mendoza, was a Spanish noblewoman with a rollicking life. She lost her eye as a teenager for reasons lost to history, became King Phillip II's mistress, joined a convent when her husband died, became mistress to a man plotting against the King, was discovered, and died under house arrest.

I tried to sleuth around a bit and was surprised to find that this was at one point attributed to Sofonisba Anguissola, who I'd just copied a self portrait of in my last entry. It was painted around the same time that she was an active painter in the Spanish court. However this attribution is pretty contested, and if you compare this to my previous entry I think you'll agree that they have pretty different styles.

Reference image from Pinterest.

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