Beyond Artemisia: Italy’s forgotten women artists revealed in new book

Dec 22, 2021 327

“Le donne son venute in eccellenza di ciascun’arte ove hanno posto cura” (“Women have achieved excellence in every art where they have made an effort”) stated the 16th-century poet Ludovico Ariosto. Giorgio Vasari included this quote in the short biography of the Bolognese sculptor Properzia de’ Rossi for his celebrated Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects (1568).

Despite Vasari’s avowed admiration for women artists, De’ Rossi was the sole woman to merit an entry among the hundreds of male artists he discusses. There are, of course, historical reasons why women were underrepresented in art: they were shut out of workshops and life-drawing studios, while marital and familial obligations frequently prevented them from pursuing professional careers.

Read more


You may be interested