Sirani, Elisabetta

BORN 8 Jan 1638, Bologna, Emilia-Romagna - DIED 28 Aug 1665, Bologna, Emilia-Romagna
CAUSE OF DEATH murdered by poisoning?
GRAVE LOCATION Bologna, Emilia-Romagna: Basilica di San Domenico (Rosary Chapel)

Elisabetta Sirani was the daughter of the painter Giovanni Andrea Sirani. She was eduated by her father and in her short life she created circa 200 paintings. Carlo Cesare Malvasia knew her and included her in his book about the Bolognese painters from 1678. He praised the orginality of her compositions and her style of drawing. Other than in other cities, in Bologna female artists were respected and she ran a workshop and educated both male and female artists.

She died under mysterious circumstances in 1665, aged only 27. A housemaid, Lucia Tolomelli, was suspected of poisoning her, but after Elisabetta's father withdrew his accusation her prosecution was halted. Probably Elisabetta died of peronitis after suffering a ruptured stomach ulcer. She was buried in the Basilica di San Domenico in the same tomb as her father's teacher Guido Reni.


Plaque for Elisabetta Sirani and Guido Reni at the Basilica San Domenico, Bologna.
Picture by Androom (12 Feb 2017)


Elisabetta Sirani - Wikipedia

Sirk, Douglas

Published: 18 Nov 2018
Last update: 25 Apr 2022