Italian painter, 1532-1625
Sofonisba Anguissola was the oldest of seven children in an aristocratic family. Her father ensured that Sofonisba and her sisters were educated in the fine arts. Sofonisba was an apprentice of Bernardino Gatti.
In 1554 she traveled to Rome and met Michelangelo, who recognized her talent. Michelangelo even sent her some of his own drawings so that she would copy them and send back to him for critique.
Sofonisba was invited to join the Spanish court of Philip II in 1559, and became the painting tutor to Queen Elisabeth of Valois.
Note the delightful painting she is working on (a very informal scene of the Virgin Mary with John the Baptist perhaps?). Presumably this was an actual painting, but I can't find any record of its existence today.
Artcyclopedia page for Sofonisba Anguissola: Works at museums, galleries and image archives worldwide.
Lancut Castle Museum, Poland