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Josefa de Óbidos' elaborate still-lifes and religious paintings have long been admired by the Portuguese for their exceptional beauty and profound symbolism. The technical brilliance and elaborate symbolism these masterpieces provide modern viewers with a window into the spirit of seventeenth-century Portugal. Her versatility is demonstrated by the range of genres she undertook including still life studies, portraits, religious themes, and allegorical subjects. During her life time, Ayala was sufficiently well-regarded as an artist to be elected to the Lisbon Academy
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