The exhibition will reveal the artistic personality of two of the most outstanding women artists in western art. Through a total of 60 works and for the first time, the Museo del Prado will jointly present the most important paintings by Sofonisba Anguissola (ca.1535-1625) and Lavinia Fontana (1552-1614). The two artists achieved recognition and fame among their contemporaries for and despite their status as female painters. Both were able to break away from the prevailing stereotypes assigned to women in relation to artistic practice and the deep-rooted scepticism regarding women’s creative and artistic abilities.
This exhibition project will recreate the original aspect of Room 39, known as Their Majesties’ Retiring Room. First opened in 1828, it was intended as a portrait gallery of the Bourbon Dynasty. The images on display were accompanied by still lifes, floral compositions and landscapes and by other paintings that depict events from the reigns of Charles III and Ferdinand VII. This installation will recreate the hanging of the paintings at different heights and will include some of the furnishings made for this space, including Ferdinand VII’s toilet.