Giovanna Garzoni

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Giovanna Garzoni (1600–1670) was an Italian painter of the Baroque era. She was unusual for Italian artists of the time for two reasons: first, in that her themes were mainly decorative and luscious still-lifes of fruits, vegetables, and flowers, and second, because she was a woman.

Garzoni trained with an otherwise unknown painter from her home town of Ascoli Piceno. She gained substantial success at her trade in Rome, Venice, Florence, Naples, and Turin. Cassiano dal Pozzo, Carlo Emanuele II, Duke of Savoy, the Medici family, and Anna Colonna, the wife of Taddeo Barberini, were among her patrons. She returned to Rome in the 1650s. In 1666, Garzoni bequeathed her entire estate to the Roman painters' guild the Accademia di San Luca, on the condition that they build her tomb in their church of Santi Luca e Martina. Mattia De Rossi designed the funerary monument, making Garzoni the first woman artist to have her portrait on her tomb.[1]

It is likely that in Naples Garzoni was exposed to the still lifes of Giovan Battista Ruoppolo and his contemporaries. Others cite Jacopo Ligozzi or Fede Galizia as possible influences in her choice of subject. In Rome, she was a contemporary of Caterina Ginnasi.


  1. ^ Perry, Gill, editor (1999). Gender and Art. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. p. 83.