Sofonisba Anguissola was an Italian Renaissance painter born in Cremona. She received a well-rounded education that included the fine arts and her apprenticeship with local painters set a precedent for women to be accepted as students of art. Anguissola traveled to Rome, where she was introduced to Michelangelo who immediately recognized her talent, and Milan, where she painted the Duke of Alba. The queen of Philip II of Spain, Elizabeth of Valois, was a keen amateur painter, and Anguissola was recruited to go to Madrid as her tutor, with the rank of lady-in-waiting. She later became an official court painter to the king, and adapted her style to the more formal requirements of official portraits for the Spanish court. After the queen's death, Philip helped arrange an aristocratic marriage for her and she moved to Palermo, and later Pisa and Genoa, where she continued to practise as a leading portrait painter, apparently with the support of her two husbands, living to the age of ninety-three.
Wikipedia contributors, "Sofonisba Anguissola," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sofonisba_AnguissolaABOUT THE ITALIAN LANGUAGE