Fall 2011 Gallery Guide - Miami University School of Fine Arts

arts.muohio.edu

Fall 2011 Gallery Guide - Miami University School of Fine Arts

EuropeanPair of Miniature Portraits, 18th centuryWatercolor on ivory; tortoise shell framewith brass inlay; 4 7/8” x 4 1/4”Collection of James H. and Frances R. Allenin existence since the 1st centuryCE in Germany, many of whichduring the Middle Ages includedfemale members. However, bythe 15th century guilds graduallyexcluded women as the systembecame politically, culturallyand economically stronger andincreased control over the arts.The exclusion of women in the artsbegan to wane by the mid-16thcentury when the guild systemstarted to die out. Women soonreturned to working in textiles,while men increased their attentionto finer crafts such as furnituremaking, jewelry and glass.As noted previously, the twowomen who garnered significantattention in Giorgio Vasari’s Livesof the Most Excellent Painters,Sculptors, and Architects wereSofonisba Anguissola andProperzia de’ Rossi. There wereother female portrait paintersof the Renaissance, includingLavinia Fontana, Lucia Anguissola,Fede Galizia, Barbara Longhi,Caterina van Hemessen andLevina Teerlinc. By the early17th century several painters wereturning their attention to still lifepaintings, largely influenced bythis growing trend in the Dutchlands. However, several femalepainters continued figurative worksin the 17th century, includingArtemisia Gentileschi and JudithLeyster. Gentileschi, one of themost prominent female artists inhistory, is the subject of manydiscussions concerning womenin a male-dominated art world inwhich her teacher raped her. Inresponse to this horrific experienceof 1612, Gentileschi createdher most important work, titledJudith Beheading Holofernes. Arthistorians read this work as a selfportraitof Gentileschi as Judithviolently cutting off the head of herrapist, Agostino Tassi.The 18th century was a time ofgreat exploration through theGrand Tours of Europe. Wealthypatrons traveled to historical cities,studying and absorbing the cultureand history. This was also a timeduring which many Americans,mostly men, began a seriousstudy of art in England, Franceand Italy. Paris and London werethe major centers during the 18thcentury, where a sizeable list offemale artists trained. The twomost notable of these importantfigures are Maria Anna AngelicaKauffmann and Élisabeth LouiseVigée-Lebrun.Neoclassicism was sweepingthrough Europe during the secondhalf of the 18th century, whenclassical antiquity was reintroducedand often reinterpreted in parallelwith contemporary issues ofpolitics, religion, culture and socialreforms. Of the two major femalefigures at the time, Swiss-bornAngelica Kauffmann emerged asone of the great historical genrepainters. She is also recognizedfor her important role, alongwith fellow painter Mary Moser,in the founding of the BritishRoyal Academy of Art in 1768.Although these two women wereamong its first members, it was1936 before another female artist,Dame Laura Knight, was elected tomembership.French-born painter ÉlisabethLouise Vigée-Lebrun, who excelledat portraiture, also acquired greatacclaim at a young age. Shepainted her first of more than 30portraits of Marie Antionette whenshe was 24 years old. Her personalrelationship with the queenafforded her many opportunities,7

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines