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#65 Lavinia Fontana, A Woman of Firsts: A Conversation with Dr. Aoife Brady

Saturday, June 3rd on Zoom

10am Los Angeles & Phoenix, 1pm NY & Toronto, 6pm London, 7pm Florence

Born in Bologna in 1552, Lavinia Fontana is widely considered to have been the first female artist to achieve commercial success beyond the confines of a court or a convent. She maintained an active career, while also taking on the role of wife and mother. She was the first woman recorded as having her own workshop, and was thought to have been the first woman to paint public altarpieces and female nudes. Coinciding with a major exhibition celebrating Lavinia Fontana at the National Gallery of Ireland (6 May – 27 August 2023), this lecture will explore the artist’s extraordinary life through a selection of her most esteemed works.

Aoife Brady, who received her PhD in Art History from Trinity College, Dublin, wrote her thesis on “The Painting Techniques and Workshop Practices of Guido Reni.” She serves as Curator of Italian and Spanish Art at the National Gallery of Ireland, and is a specialist in Bolognese painting. Prior to her current position, she held curatorial roles with The National Gallery, London, and the Paintings Department of The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. Dr. Brady’s primary research interests relate to the study of painting techniques, materials, and artists’ studio practices, with focus on 17th-century Italy and Spain. Her recent curatorial projects have included an exhibition of work by Valencian painter Joaquín Sorolla entitled Sorolla: Spanish Master of Light in partnership with the National Gallery, London, and an in-focus exhibition of Bartolomé Esteban Murillo’s series of paintings depicting the parable of the Prodigal Son, a collaboration with the Museo del Prado, Madrid, and the Meadows Museum, Dallas. Dr. Brady is currently working on a large-scale exhibition examining the work of Lavinia Fontana, scheduled to open in Dublin in May of 2023, and she will discuss some of her research around that project.


Minimum suggested donation: $20

This talk is free for Friends of Paola's Studiolo!

Look forward to seeing you on Zoom!

Warmest regards,


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