I’m Virgo, playing music tranquilly
in this self-portrait. The clavichord I chose.
It denotes fine education; the black clothes
I'm wearing prove I value chastity.
Dark as a shadow, to the left of me
is the face of my governess, which shows
I am dutiful. My face fairly glows -
lit with love for the arts and poetry!
See me in this latter portrait, still in black,
a high collar at my neck. A strange disguise
my face is now; I'm nearly taken aback
to see my sagging jowls! How dim my eyes,
and how thin my lips! But never did I lack
for love! I have lived long and have grown wise.
*Sofonisba Anguissola, who called herself Virgo, lived
from 1532 to 1625. She was a female artist known
for her great grace and modesty. I chose to write of
her using the Petrarchan Sonnet to honor her Italian heritage.
The two self-portraits described are from when she
was both young and old. I thought it interesting to
see how she changed with the years. If you copy and
paste my link, you will see several self portraits from
her youth and the two on the bottom are probably
close to when she was in her 90’s!
Please see http://bjws.blogspot.com/2013/01/1500s-woman-artist-sofonisba-anguissola.html