Middlebury College Acquires Its First Painting of a Woman ‘Old Master’ Artist

The Museum of Art at Middlebury College, the highly rated liberal arts educational institution in Vermont, has acquired its first “Old Master” still-life that was painted by a woman. The term “Old Masters” refers to trained artists who worked in Europe prior to the 1800s and belonged to an artists’ guild.

The artist is Anna Stanchi who came from a well-known Roman family of still-life painters. The painting was signed and dated in 1643. The painting shows tulips, irises, daffodils, carnations, and hyacinths.

Professor Pieter Broucke, art historian and Middlebury’s director of the arts stated that “there are not many pre-modern female artists to begin with, and so it is remarkable that our Museum was able to add a beautiful and representative work by a female artist working at the height of the Roman Baroque. The painting is an outstanding addition to our teaching collection of Western paintings, and it will allow students to discuss issues of gender and the relationship between Northern and Southern Baroque artists.”

Assistant professor Carrie Anderson of Middlebury’s history of art and architecture department added that Stanchi “was not simply an amateur painting dabbling in a ladylike hobby, but rather a skilled artist who was trying to market her work. She is an emerging figure in the field and Middlebury is fortunate to have one of her few known works of art in its collection.”

Filed Under: Women's Studies


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