Italian Women Artists from Renaissance to Baroque
“…and I will show My Most Illustrious Lord what a woman can do …”
From a letter by Artemisia Gentileschi
Why are women artists from the Italian Renaissance and Baroque relatively unknown today, when by contrast during their lifetime their artistic merits were celebrated by the most eminent contemporaries?
Focusing on female artistic production during a precise period and in a specific area, ‘Italian women artists of the Renaissance and Baroque’ is an overview of woman who were active professionally in the fields of painting, engraving and sculpture in Italy during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and at the same time documents the socio-cultural context that contributed to defining their life and works.
The catalogue has been published to mark the travelling exhibition that opens at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington D.C., and examines the artistic techniques and works of these extraordinary women who were able to make a name for themselves at a public – and in some cases an international - level.
The catalogue presents 60 exceptional works created by some ten prominent Italian female artists and offers a unique opportunity to examine the social context in which they worked and to understand their individual personalities and the development of their careers.
This scholarly publication is a major contribution to a renewed study on these women as major artists and therefore constitutes a new starting point for historical research and thinking on the influences of sex in our way of understanding works of art and on issues relating to power and economics in the art market.