Anna Maria Van Schurman
Self-Portrait at 33 Years of Age, 1640
Engraving and etching
Printer: Anna Maria Van Schurman, Utrecht
Purchase: SOTA Print Fund, 2012. (2012.7)
Anna Maria Van Schurman gained an international reputation for her intellect during the seventeenth century, a time when women were expected to avoid public life. This “woman of vision” mastered eleven languages, advocated for women’s education, and corresponded with philosophers, theologians, and authors across Europe.
Van Schurman created small works of art for private enjoyment by herself and her friends, and sometimes sent a painting, print, or drawing with her letters. The simplicity of this self-portrait communicates her modesty, a traditionally feminine quality she prized alongside her more unconventional devotion to learning.
Inscription: See my likeness in this portrait:/ May your favor perfect the work where art has failed
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