During the fifteen and sixteenth centuries women held little authority as artists in Italy or in the rest of the world. It was often believed that women could not achieve true artistic vision because of their perceived lack of intelligence, character, and strength. They were barred from art academies and dissuaded from taking up painting or sculpture.
Women were encouraged to stick to more feminine duties like cooking, cleaning, and child bearing. Those who didn’t were perceived as wanton or scandalous. They held an even lower position in society to their married counterparts. However, a few women did learn to paint (most from their fathers or private tutors) and eventually used their talents to make a living.