Significant Self-Portrait in Art History

Who created the first known northern European self-portrait by a woman?

a. Judith Leyster
b. Caterina Van Hemessen
c. Levina Teerlinc
d. Sofonisba Anguissola


The first known northern European self-portrait by a woman was created by Caterina Van Hemessen.

Caterina Van Hemessen is a significant figure in the history of art for creating the first self-portrait by a woman in northern Europe. Her self-portrait, painted in the mid-16th century, marked a groundbreaking moment in art history.

Van Hemessen's self-portrait is important because it showcased that women, too, could capture their own likeness with skill and authenticity. Prior to her work, women were typically portrayed as muses or subjects in paintings rather than acknowledged as artists themselves.

While other female artists such as Judith Leyster and Sofonisba Anguissola made impressive contributions to art history, it was Caterina Van Hemessen who laid the original groundwork for female self-portraiture in northern Europe. Her bold initiative paved the way for future generations of female artists to express themselves through self-portraiture.

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