Elisabetta Sirani / by Chris Hall

Elisabetta Sirani (1638 – 1665) was an Italian painter in the Baroque tradition from the city of Bologna.  She was trained by her father, the painter Giovanni Andrea Sirani.  By her 17th birthday, Elisabetta Sirani was a master engraver and painter and had completed more than 80 works.  By the age young age of 19, Elisabetta had become an independent artist.  Soon she was running her father's workshop, who was incapacitated with gout.  The responsibility of  supporting her parents and her siblings, entirely through art, was, reportedly hard on Elisabetta, and may have caused her early death.  She died under mysterious circumstances in 1665, at the young age of 27.  Some say it was stress, others say it was her jealous father who poisoned her.  Before she died she had created over 200 paintings, drawings, and etchings.