Lady in Ermine: The Story of a Woman Who Painted the Renaissance

Lady in Ermine: The Story of a Woman Who Painted the Renaissance

By Donna DiGiuseppe
2019 | 374 pp. | 978-0-86698-821-6 | Paperback 5.5 x 8.5 in
$19.95 |

A Biographical Novel


Who was Sofonisba Anguissola?
No one knows her name, but thanks to Donna DiGiuseppe’s enthralling biographical novel, we can all learn the remarkable story of the Renaissance’s most successful female artist. Michelangelo recognized her genius; Vasari praised her talent. Caught up in court intrigues, family squabbles, and political upheavals, “Sofi” emerges as a full-bodied woman and sensitive artist who lived by her brush at a time when women’s only options were marriage or nunneries. Lady in Ermine elegantly weaves together rich historical details, finely etched characters and a compelling plot to create a vivid  portrait of a talented woman who defied the conventions of her times. This romantic saga brings to life a long-overlooked page in history and is sure to delight lovers of Italy, art, and history.
—Dianne Hales, Author, Mona Lisa: A Life Discovered and La Bella Lingua


Sofonisba’s extraordinary story is well situated in the turbulent politics of the time. In an enthralling tale of what might have been, Di Giuseppe succeeds admirably in capturing the elusive voices of an exceptional Renaissance woman and her family.
—Patricia Fortini Brown
Professor Emerita of Art and Archaeology, Princeton University


Debut author, Donna DiGiuseppe, has pulled the velvet draperies back to reveal an astonishing life — the late Renaissance painter, Sofonisba Anguissola. DiGiuseppe’s research details the swarthy worlds of the sublime Spanish and magnificent Medici courts while the specter of the Inquisition hovers. Delivered in a clear style, DiGiuseppe hand feeds her readers rich intrigues in an historical feast. Fans of historical fiction and creative nonfiction will embrace Lady in Ermine’s rendering of a great woman painter almost lost to the annals of art history.
—Pamela Livingston
Program Manager, The Book Passage




About the Author

Donna DiGiuseppe studied Humanities at UC Berkeley, including a year in Venice at Ca’ Foscari, focusing on the northern Italian Renaissance. After a law degree from the University of San Francisco and many years practicing law, she returned to her passion for the Italian Renaissance with a Master’s degree in History at San Francisco State University. She lectures frequently on Sofonisba and has traveled the world to view Sofonisba’s work. Ms. DiGiuseppe lives with her husband and sons in San Francisco, California, and Abruzzo, Italy.


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