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Violante Siries Cerroti’s Self Portrait, Uffizi Gallery Collection

Violante Siriès Cerroti

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Siries flourished in eighteenth-century Florence where she was a portraitist for Tuscan nobility. Two Siries’ major patrons were the Gondi and Sandedoni families. Having studied in Paris with Rococo masters Rigaud and Boucher she was in high demand with Tuscan nobles and wealthy Grand Tour Travelers. Violante’s father Louis Siries was fundamental in generating these commissions. Louis was a French engraver, who revolutionized decorative stone work as Director of the Tuscan Grand Dukes’ Semi precious stone workshop in the Uffizi. An early student of Medici Court artist Giovanna Fratellini, Siries Cerroti was a teacher of other professional painters including Anna Piattoli and Maria Hadfield Cosway. Their creative circle helped establish Florence as a center for women in the arts. Each were honored with membership to Europe’s first drawing academy, the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno, an otherwise male prerogative.

Saving Art in the ‘Nick of Time’

Siries’ masterwork was a ‘victim’ of the 1966 flood and no one knew it until nearly 50 years later.

Recovering Violante’s Legacy

AWA researcher Poiret Masse searches for (and finds) works by Violante in Tuscany and Italy.

Why seek out ‘copies’?

Imagine being an artist in a world without photography. That was Violante’s world as a copyist.

By giving a voice to historic
women artists AWA rescues
and reclaims the ‘hidden half’
of Florence’s art.

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