From The Duke of Sessa, Governor of Milan, 14 October 1559 to the Philip II, King of Spain: Sofonisba is ready
On October 14, 1559, the Duke of Sessa, a Spaniard stationed in Milan to govern the region on behalf of the Spanish King Philip II, wrote to his monarch “Vuestra Majestad” to confirm that Sofonisba Anguissola was prepared to leave her home, her family, her land, and attend his court. She was to travel under the protection of Count Brocardo Persico, a member of the council of Milan and a family friend of the Anguissolas. The Duke of Sessa signed as a “humilde vasallo.” Sofonisba was escorted to her new life in Spain where she had to make a name and a home for herself without her beloved family. It was time for the portraitist to construct her own image.