Happy Birthday Elisabetta Sirani! Born in 1638, Italian Sirani was a Baroque painter who also set up a school for women artists. Although she died at the early age of 27, she produced over 200 paintings, primarily portraits. Her father was a painter who fell ill, requiring her to support her family of 5 entirely through her art. She worked with an amazing speed, leading to speculation that exhaustion may have contributed to her early demise. Virgin and Child is an example of her classic baroque style portraiture.
Baroque-style of art, succeeding Mannerism, practiced primarily in Italy, lasting into the 18th century. Artists attempted to create (even overwhelm the spectator with) great emotional charm by use of color, light and illusion.