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Diana Scultori

(called Mantovana, ca. 1547 Mantua – 1612 Rome)

The engraver Diana Scultori was the daughter of Giovanni Battista Scultori, from whom she learned her craft in her native town of Mantua. Among his other pupils were her brother Adamo Scultori and most probably Giorgio Ghisi too. Diana Scultori’s personality is of historical as well as cultural interest, as she was one of the 16th century’s few female engravers. Diana was the wife of the architect Francesco Capriani, known as da Volterra, who built several sacred buildings in Rome. From about 1575 onwards she worked in Rome where, in recognition of her social status, she received a ten-year papal privilege from Pope Gregory XIII. Entirely dedicated at first to the stylistic principles of the Mantuan school of engraving, she later produced prints in Rome after works by the leading masters of her time, such as Raffaellino da Reggio, Federico Zuccaro, Francesco Parmigianino and Francesco Salviati. The elegance and refinement of the Roman maniera exerted a significant influence on Diana’s art and, as time passed, she developed a more fluid and pleasing style.