Camilla Guerrieri's Portrait of Vittoria della Rovere


  • Liana De Girolami Cheney UMASS Lowell



Camilla Guerrieri, Vittoria della Rovere, emblematic and symbolic portrait, honorific medals.


This essay describes the symbolism in the recently discovered painting by Camilla Guerrieri Nati (1628–94), an 
Italian painter from the seventeenth century. The painting portrays Vittoria della Rovere, Grand Duchess of 
Tuscany, a remarkable woman who successfully governed Tuscany with her exceptional qualities of being 
well-educated, pious, valiant, and a historical ruler. Camilla's depiction of Vittoria della Rovere in the portrait 
is magnificent, as she captures her patron's spiritual beauty and wisdom. Vittoria della Rovere's significant 
contributions to expanding cultural diplomacy and her passion for the Fine Arts and popular art make her an 
admirable historical figure. She also created an environment for women to develop their literary skills and 
express themselves creatively, a remarkable achievement during those times. The Altomani Portrait of 
Vittoria della Rovere is a testament to Camilla Guerrieri's artistic talent and her patron's extraordinary legacy.

Author Biography

  • Liana De Girolami Cheney, UMASS Lowell

    Short Bio: Liana De Girolami Cheney, Ph.D., Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award, Professor of Art History emerita from UMASS Lowell. Prof. Cheney is a Renaissance and Mannerist scholar, author, and coauthor of numerous articles and books, including Barbara Longhi of Ravenna: Art, Grace, and Piety (2023); Lavinia Fontana’s Mythological Paintings(2020); Self-Portraits by Female Painters (2000, rev. and paperback ed. 2009); Women Artists: “The Most Excellent Women Artists.” 2 vols (2003). Articles include painters such as Christine de Pizan, Sofonisba Anguissola, Julia Lama, Josef de Obidos, Evelyn de Morgan, and historical women Hypatia and Caterina Cornaro


Abati, Antonio. (1676). Poesie Postume. Venice: Miloeo.

Acton, Harold. (1980). The Last Medici. London: Macmillan.

Barker, Sheila. (2016). Women Artists in Early Modern Italy: Careers, Fame, and Collectors. Turnhout: Brepols.

Benadusi, Giovanna and Judith C. Brown. (2015). Medici Women: The Making of a Dynasty in Grand Ducal Tuscany. Toronto: Center for Reformation and Renaissance Studies.

Boschio, Jacob. (1701). Symbolografia, sive, De Arte Symbolica. Asburgh, Germany: J. C. Bernard.

Camajani, Piero Guelfi. (1940). Dizionario Araldico. Milan: Forni.

Cirlot, Jean E. (1962). A Dictionary of Symbols. New York, NY: Philosophical Library.

Colella, Massimo. (2022). Seicento satirico: Il Viaggio di Antonio Abati (con edizione critica in appendice). La parola del testo, 26, 1–2, 77–100.

D’Ancona, Mirella Levi. (1977). The Garden of the Renaissance. Florence: Olschki.

De Tervarant, Guy. (1997). Attributs et Symboles dans L’Art Profane. Geneve: Droz.

Emiliani, Andrea. (1997). Giovan Francesco Guerrieri da Fossombrone. Bologna: Nuova Alfa.

Giardini, Claudio. (2023) “Allegory of the Painting with a self-portrait of Camilla Guerrieri as a painter, portrait of Vittoria della Rovere in the middle and on the little canvas on the easel,” Altomani & Sons Review, 1.

Giardini, Claudio. (2024). Camilla Guerrieri, Portrait of Vittoria della Rovere, oil on octagonal canvas. Altomani & Sons Review, 1–2, including archival data from Florence, Pesaro, and Fossombrone.

Greco, Marinella, Marzia Materazzi, Enrico Pampaloni, Luca Pezzati, Claudio Rocchini, & Roberto Scopigno. (2002). Three-dimensional modeling of statues: The Minerva of Arezzo. Journal of Cultural Heritage, 3, 10, 325–331.

Langedijk, Karla. (1983). The Portraits of the Medici: 15th–18th Centuries, vol. 2. Florence: Studio per edizioni scelte.

Modesti, Adelina. (2018). ‘Nelle mode le piú novelle.’ The latest fashion trends (textiles, clothing, and luxury fabrics) at the court of Grand Duchess Vittoria della Rovere de’ Medici of Tuscany, in: Jill Bepler and Svante Norrhem (Eds.), Telling Objects. Contextualizing the Role of the Consort in Early Modern Europe, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, pp. 107–129.

Modesti, Adelina. (2020). Women’s Patronage and Gendered Cultural Networks in Early Modern Europe. London: Routledge.

Reynolds, Mark. (2008). “The Octagon in Leonardo’s Drawings,” Nexusnetworkjournal, 10, 1, 51–75.

Saso, Johnatan. (2020). I ritratti di Vittoria Della Rovere, granduchessa di Toscana: un programma di autorappresentazione principesca. Accademia Raffaello. Atti e studi,” 19,1/2, 97–164.

Straussman-Pflanzer, Eve. (2016). The Medici’s First Female Court Artist: The Life and Career of Camilla Guerrieri Nati, in: Women Artists in Early Modern Italy: Careers, Fame, and Collectors, Sheila Barker (Ed.) Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 121–134, including archival documentation.

Toderi, Giusseppe and Fiorenza Vannel. (1987). Medaglia Barocca in Toscana. Florence: S.P.E.S.

Vernarecci, Augusto. (1903). Fossombrone dai tempi antichissima ai nostri, 2 vols. Bologna: Forni.

Vitali, Samuel. (2022). Iussu partis? Prolegomena on Form and Function of Women Artists’ Signatures in the Early Modern Period. RIHA Journal, 0272, 1–49.




Similar Articles

1-10 of 29

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.