FONTANA, Lavinia
(b. 1552, Bologna, d. 1614, Roma)


Italian woman painter, daughter and pupil of Prospero Fontana. She began her career in Bologna. She painted portraits and religious pictures, her earliest recorded work being the Holy Family of 1525 (Dresden). In 1577 she married a rich pupil of her father's, Gian Paolo Zappi, who became her assistant. Despite having eleven children she enjoyed a successful career, working in a style close to Correggio and Parmigianino in her religious works (often of considerable size), and to the Florentine Mannerists in her portraits. She moved to Rome in 1603, at the invitation of Pope Clement VIII, and died there.