Friday, August 14, 2020

Learn About Sister Plautilla Nelli, Woman Artist of the Renaissance

By Margherita Cole 
Plautilla Nelli, Detail of “The Last Supper,” c. 1560s (Photo: Wikimedia Commons [Public Domain])
It's no secret that the Italian Renaissance is one of the most influential movements in Western art history. We think of this time as being dominated by mostly male artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael, but there were a few famous women painters who left their mark. Among them was Sister Plautilla Nelli (c. 1524-1588), the first woman to render The Last Supper. Nearly a third of recorded women artists in Renaissance Italy were Dominican nuns. Sister Plautilla's convent, Santa Caterina, was where she taught herself to paint in the style of other religious artists like Fra Bartolomeo. Her talent and passion for image-making lead her to become the head of an artistic workshop within her convent. [More