Listening to Art

11.09: Lavinia Fontana, Portrait of a Gentleman in Armour

Download (MP3).

Listening to Art, by William Denton.

Volume eleven, number nine: Portrait of a Gentleman in Armour by Lavinia Fontana.

Hello, and welcome to Listening to Art. I’m William Denton.

Lavinia Fontana was born in Bologna, Italy, in 1552, and lived there most of her life, achieving great fame for her portraits. In 1603 she moved to Rome and was under the patronage of popes Gregory XIII and Clement VII. She died in 1614, outliving eight of her eleven children.

I quote from “Lavinia Fontana: A Woman Collector of Antiquity” by Liana De Girolami Cheney:

Fontana’s good fortune was to have been raised and educated in Bologna, home of one of the oldest universities, to have been trained as a painter by her successful father, Prospero, and for having received an honorific appointment to the papal court in Rome. Within this framework, Fontana moved in a patronage circle of sophisticated, well-connected nobles, church officials, politicians, scholars, bankers and other powerful and affluent men and women. The artistic recognition Fontana received documents her prolific and brilliant career as a painter and manifests her commitment to excel as an artist.

This is a painting, oil on canvas, 65 cm wide by 89 cm high.

Now let’s listen to Portrait of a Gentleman in Armour by Lavinia Fontana, recorded at the National Gallery of Ireland, in Dublin, on 18 August 2022.

Waveform of the field recording.

That was Portrait of a Gentleman in Armour by Lavinia Fontana. I hope you enjoyed listening to it as much as I did.

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All web sites accessed as of date of publication.

Cheney, Liana De Girolami. “Lavinia Fontana: a woman collector of antiquity.” Aurora, The Journal of the History of Art 2 (2001): 22–42.

National Gallery of Ireland. “Portrait of a Gentleman in Armour.” National Gallery of Ireland.

Wikipedia, s.v. “Lavinia Fontana,”