I’m eager to return to the Prado Museum in Madrid in a few weeks for a close up inspection of Sofonisba’s Portrait of Philip II which I last viewed in storage in 2009 with the kind permission of Leticia Ruiz, curator of the upcoming exhibit. I originally met Dr. Ruiz through my association with Maria Kusche at Progetto Sofonisba in Palermo, February 2008.
Maria Kusche describes in her book Sofonisba Anguissola Renaissance Woman, written with Sylvia Ferino-Pagden (NMWA, 1995), that x-rays show that the portrait was altered to include a heavy cape and the rosary. Originally, Philip was posed with his hand on his chest. In Lady in Ermine, I link Sofonisba’s adjustment to the tragedies affecting Philip’s life.
Sofonisba’s sensitivity to Philip II’s life events is one sign of her immersion at the Spanish court.