(b. ca. 1530, Cremona, d. 1625, Palermo)

Asdrubale Bitten by a Crawfish

c. 1554
Black chalk and charcoal on brown paper, 333 x 385 mm
Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte, Naples

Obviously self-aware and politely subversive, Anguissola Sofonisba seems to have been willing to challenge Michelangelo in both craft and wit. Her father had arranged to for the most famous artist of the age to shown one of his daughter's drawings of a laughing child. - an obvious ploy to certify her talent for undertaking a task that Leonardo had described in his notebooks as requiring rare talent and nuance in order that the figure not appear pained or angered instead. Michelangelo begrudgingly admitted its proficiency and perversely claimed that showing a crying child would be even more difficult. Anguissola responded with a presentation drawing (shown in the picture, now heavily damaged). The scene seems a logical enough response to Michelangelo's remark: one of Anguissola's younger sisters calms their only brother Asdrubale who is being bitten by a crawfish.