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Sofonisba Anguissola
Sofonisba Anguissola (1532 – 1625) paved the way for women to be accepted as art students, thanks to her apprenticeships with local painters during a time when women weren't accepted as artists.

As a young woman she met Michelangelo, who immediately recognized her talent, and the Spanish queen, Elizabeth of Valois, recruited her as an art tutor. Her early success paved the way for women to pursue serious careers as artists.