The Lone Snake: The Story of Sofonisba Anguissola

The Lone Snake: The Story of Sofonisba Anguissola

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Author: Lisa Vihos

Publisher: Water's Edge Press LLC (2022)

In The Lone Snake, Lisa Vihos brings Renaissance artist Sofonisba Anguissola to life as a woman yearning for recognition in a world not ready for her. When Anguissola’s life intersects with a young poet, the aging artist finds she has more than just the story of her life to share. Through Sofonisba’s memoir, readers journey with the artist to her early years in Cremona, to Rome where she studies with Michelangelo, to her time at the Spanish court, and eventually out to sea, where she meets the love of her life under a starry sky. Vihos’s portrait of life in the 16th century is a rich tapestry that blends art history, romance, and verse to tell a timeless tale of what it means to create.

"This lyrical reimagining of Sofonisba Anguissola's extraordinary life envisions the Renaissance artist as a gentle feminist pathbreaker, forever expanding opportunities for herself and those she loved, whether in her native Cremona, the court of Philip II of Spain, or her adopted city of Genoa. Rich with historical characters real and invented, The Lone Snake champions the transformational power of art."

-Rebecca Albiani

"Lisa Vihos's The Lone Snake is a tender-hearted book that captures the life and work of a stunning-and poorly known-Renaissance painter, Sofonisba Anguissola. Vihos roots Anguissola's struggle to make her way in the male-dominated art world in the artist's warm and nontraditional family life, painting a vibrant picture of her pathbreaking existence."

–Jennifer Morales

"This narrative loops, lifts, and cinches into a warm knowing we all carry, about legacy, loss, and love. Vihos deftly carries our emotions across time, cultures, and the resolve of devotion."

–Dasha Kelly Hamilton

"In The Lone Snake, Lisa Vihos celebrates the inspiring power of late Renaissance painter Sofonisba Anguissola, a woman determined to follow her dream. Sofonisba transforms old stories into new realities for herself and for others. Full of 'joyful surprises,' The Lone Snake transforms our understanding of the past and bolsters our hope for the future."

–Margaret Rozga