Properzia de' Rossi was born c.1490 in Bologna, Italy. She studied drawing under Marcantonio Raimondi, known today for his engravings of paintings by Raphael. de' Rossi was at first known for her complex miniature sculptures using an unorthodox medium of apricot, peach or cherry stones. In her thirties, she began to produce normal-sized sculptures like portrait busts, and these helped establish her reputation as a serious artist. She was also commissioned to decorate the altar of Santa Maria del Baraccano in Bologna and she won a competition to produce marble sculpture for the church of San Pedro in Bologna.