Another #WomanArtist - Born in Antwerp during the height of the Northern Renaissance, Catharina van Hemessen (1528-after 1565) was an accomplished portraitist in an era when societal expectations made women artists extremely rare in Europe. As was so often the case for the few women who were able to pursue a career in art, Catharina's father was a successful painter himself, and trained and encouraged her. Because her father had traveled to Italy to study, Catharina's education likely included the most modern painting styles and techniques. At around the age of twenty, she painted herself at work with her palette in hand - a painting that is often credited as the first self-portrait to show an artist at an easel.The few surviving paintings attributed to her are mostly portraits of elite women that are both intimate and elegant, though she also did several religious paintings as well. In the 1540s she earned the patronage of Maria of Austria, who served as regent of the Low Countries on behalf of her brother Charles V, and who granted Catharina a pension for life in recognition of her talent. She was sufficiently prominent to be one of the few women included in Giorgio Vasari's Le Vite.
Although the identity of this portrait's subject is now unknown, she was definitely a lady of wealth and status from her fashionable dress and jewelry - those chains! "Portrait of a Young Lady" attributed to Catharina van Hemessen, c1555-1560 @baltimoremuseumofart #baltimoremuseumofart #catharinavanhemessen #flemishart #flemishartist #renaissanceart #northernrenaissanceart #womenartists #artbywomen #womenpainters #5womenartists #portrait #portraitofalady #ladyinblack #16thcenturyart #art #paintings #arthistory #historyofart #heartart #artlovers - 14 minutes ago