A Renaissance Woman In Art


St. Catherine with a Lily by Plautilla Nelli  (1528 -1588)

It's often hard for me to imagine
life in the 1500's and the 
challenges women must have
faced, especially those
with a gift for the fine

Pulisena Margherita Nelli (1524 -1588)
was a nun by the age of 14 and 
became Sister Plautilla. 
She resided at the convent
of Santa Caterina da Siena.
At the convent devotional painting and 
drawing were encouraged as a way to avoid 

Nelli was self taught and
in her practice copied works of 
Italian Masters during the high 
Renaissance, often piecing
together elements from multiple
paintings and creating something

The artist attracted patrons
both male and female and was
unique in her courage to paint
large scale and expansive pieces.

The paintings, I find are sensitive,
emotional and richly filled with
masterful technique and interpretation.

Fortunately historians have uncovered more
and more of her paintings over
recent years. Many of them
have been in the process of being

To learn more watch this
short video by PBS it's truly
an amazing story.

PBS: Invisible Women Video

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