Barbara Longhi
Italian, 1552-1648
Collected by a major museum
Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields

Barbara Longhi was the daughter of the painter and miniaturist Luca Longhi; her works are sometimes difficult to distinguish from those of her father’s. Longhi was one of the few female artists of the Italian Renaissance, and garnered mention in Giorgio Vasari’s Lives of the Artists for having “purity of line and soft brilliance of color.” She began her career helping her father with altarpieces, but further developed her own technique by studying the work of Parmigianino and Correggio. She painted primarily religious images, including several depictions of Madonna and Child. Many of these works share typical Renaissance elements, such as a pyramidal compositions and a parted drape in the background revealing a distant landscape. Longhi’s works stood apart for their emphasis on human interaction.

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