(b. ca. 1482, Lucca, d. 1548, Lucca)


Italian illuminator. The Burlamacchi family has an extensive political history in Italy and played a pivotal role in Lucca from the fourteenth to the sixteenth century.

Eufrasia and her sister Gabriella entered the convent of San Nicolao at a young age. In 1502, Eufrasia left San Nicolao to found the convent of San Domenico with her sister and ten other nuns. Later Eufrasia went on to serve as Mother Superior of the convent.

The nuns of San Domenico were fervent followers of the teachings of Fra Girolamo Savonarola (1452-1498), a priest whose uncompromising view of Christian morality and acceptable personal behaviour transformed Italian Catholicism during his lifetime, and his teachings were the founding principles of the convent. Although he was excommunicated and sentenced to be burned at the stake by the Pope, Savonarola was revered as a saint and martyr by many Dominican convents and monasteries in Italy, including the nuns of San Domenico.

Although it is clear that Eufrasia learned the art of illumination during her time within the convent, there are no records of her training. The style of her work echoes the illuminations of Fra Bartolomeo. It is believed that her active period as an artist began in 1502, a date that coincides with a collection of four antiphonaries and one gradual (executed between 1502 and 1515) that are commonly attributed to the artist. According to her obituary, Eufrasia Burlamacchi died on January 2, 1548, as a respected member of San Domenico.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.