48 pages 1 hour read

Wendy Wasserstein

The Heidi Chronicles

Fiction | Play | Adult | Published in 1988

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Index of Terms

Sofonisba Anguissola (c.1532-1625)

Heidi teaches about Anguissola, a woman painter in the Italian Renaissance whose portraiture was known at the time to be as good as Titian’s. However, history has largely forgotten her and her sisters, who were also internationally renowned painters. Heidi shows slides of Anguissola’s “The Game of Chess” (c.1555) and “Portrait of the Artist’s Sister Minerva” (c.1559). Heidi notes that none of the sisters are mentioned in their textbook, and in the standard textbook Heidi learned from, there were no women mentioned “from the dawn of history to the present” (160).

Clara Peeters (1594-1657)

Heidi describes the Flemish painter as “the greatest woman artist of the seventeenth century” (160). Peeters was a pioneer in still-life painting. She shows slides of Peeters’s undated self-portrait (c.1618), in which still-life objects surround her, and one of her so-called breakfast paintings, possibly “Still Life with Cheeses, Artichoke, and Cherries” (c.1625), based on Heidi’s description, although the text does not clarify this. Peeters was ahead of her time and influential in the development of still life as a form, but she is rarely mentioned in studies of art history.