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:

Opening at Milan’s Palazzo Reale in March 2021, the exhibition Le Signore dell’Arte. Storie di donne tra ’500 e ’600 rediscovers the art and the extraordinary lives of 34 different women artists, including Giovanna Garzoni, as well as Artemisia Gentileschi, Elisabetta Sirani, Sofonisba Anguissola, Lavinia Fontana, Ginevra Cantofoli, Fede Galizia, and others. It will showcase some 150 paintings from no fewer than 67 different lenders, including many Italian museums; the Musée des Beaux Arts in Marseille; and Muzeum Narodowe in Poznan, Poland.

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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