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Self-portrait of Anna Piattoli, Uffizi Gallery Collection

From student to entrepreneur

Could women artists make a living in eighteenth-century Florence? A student of the paintress Violante Siries, Anna Bacherini Piattoli (1720–1788) continued the tradition of female succession in Florence. Self-portraiture was one of the most easily accessible themes for women artists. Whether a form of ‘self-actualization’ or a source publicity, women painters often portrayed themselves at work. Such is the case for native Florentine artist Giovanna Fratellini (1666–1731), her student Violante Cerroti Siries (1709–1783), and Anna Bacherini Piattoli—a trio exemplifying female succession in Baroque Florence. During a moment of economic difficulty in 1776, Bacherini Piattoli offered her painting to Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo on the fulfilled hope that he would compensate her. Interestingly, the miniature she’s shown creating is Andrea del Sarto’s Madonna del Sacco, the same work that inspired the Accademia’s large-scale copy by Irene Parenti Duclos.