Giovanna Garzoni

Still Life with Bowl of Citrons

  • Giovanna Garzoni (Italian, 1600–1670)
  • Tempera on vellum
  • Late 1640s
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum

    The Artist


    Giovanna Garzoni (1600–1670) was one of the first women artists to work in the still life genre. Today, she is best known for her delicate watercolor paintings of plants, vegetables, and animals. But she also painted religious, mythological, and allegorical subjects, as well as portraits. Much of her work is on paper, but she also created works with other materials, including cloth and stone.

    Often accompanied by her brother, she traveled and worked all over present-day Italy—including Venice, Naples Turin, Florence, and Rome—and in England and Paris. In the 1640s, she traveled back and forth from Rome to Florence, where her primary clients were in the Medici family. In the early 1650s, she settled in Rome, though she continued to produce art for the Medicis. The biographer Lione Pascoli, in his Vite (1730–1736), stated that she could command for her art “any price that she asked.”

     Learn more about Garzoni’s painting Still Life with Bowl of CitronsThe J. Paul Getty Museum.

    Upcoming/recent exhibitions featuring Giovanna Garzoni:

    Each year, the Uffizi makes a point of displaying the work of history’s women artists in a special exhibition. In 2020, they honored Garzoni with the show “‘The Greatness of the Universe’ in the Art of Giovanna Garzoni.” The exhibition was curated by Sheila Barker. Originally scheduled to open in March 2020, it was delayed due to Covid-10; but it did run—to much acclaim—from late May to late June 2020. Exhibition


    Books about Giovanna Garzoni


    “The Immensity of the Universe” in the Art of Giovanna Garzoni, edited by Sheila Barker

    Giovanna Garzoni: Still Lifes, by Elena Fumagalli and Silvia Meloni Trkulja (Authors) and Ian Monk (Translator)



    Learn more online about Giovanna Garzoni at: 

    Art Herstory blog:

    “La grandezza del universo” nell’arte di Giovanna Garzoni / “The grandeur of the universe” in the art of Giovanna Garzoni, by Sara Matthews-Grieco

    Two of a Kind: Giovanna Garzoni & Artemisia Gentileschi, by Mary D. Garrard 

    The Protofeminist Insects of Giovanna Garzoni and Maria Sibylla Merian, by Emma Steinkraus


    The J. Paul Getty Museum: Explore > 


    Hyperallergic: Explore >  


    Apollo Magazine: Explore >





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    Artemisia Gentileschi

    Maria Schalcken

    Judith Leyster

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