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Depiction of women artists in art history (2nd nomination)
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The depiction of women artists in art history has often been mis-characterized, both intentionally and unintentially by the times; often dictated by the socio-political mores of the era. Throughout art history women and their likenesses have been important and primary subjects of the Wikipedia:Fine Arts. Portrayals of women in sculpture, painting, photography and the other arts by artists have often been characterized and influenced by the political and social standards of the age.
Issues with the historyEdit
There are a number of issues in constructing a history of women artists.
- Scarcity of biographical information about all artists. While this is true of males, and that it is presumed that there were fewer females who were artists, this dearth of information is even more problematic.
- Anonymity. Women artists were often most active in artistic expressions that were not typically signed. This includes many forms of textile production, including weaving, embroidery, and lace-making as well as manuscript illumination. During the Early Medieval period, manuscript illumination was a pursuit of monks and nuns alike. While occasional artists of this period are named, the vast majority of these illuminators remain unknown. This leaves researchers with whole groups of artists for whom no information is available.
- Impermanence of the media. Textiles in particular are fashioned of media that have strong susceptibilities to light, temperature, and moisture. Additionally, these products are usually functional objects and as such subject to wear. This means that only a tiny fraction of the textile work created by women is extant.
- Wikipedia:Painters' Guilds. In the Medieval and Renaissance periods, many women worked in the workshop system. These women worked under the auspices of a male workshop head, very often the artist's father. Until the twelfth century there is no record of a workshop headed by a woman, when a widow would be allowed to assume her husband's former position. Often Wikipedia:guild rules would forbid women from attaining the various ranks leading to master, so they remained "unofficial". As with all workshop production, the works produced would be signed by the workshop master, with the signature signifying a level of quality, rather than singular authorship. It is hard to differentiate the elements created by the various artists of any workshop, and until the late Renaissance few works were signed at all.
- Naming Conventions. Another problem is the convention whereby women take their husbands' last names. This obviously impedes research, especially for example, in some cases where a work of unknown origin may be signed only with a first initial and last name. Furthermore, most reference works on artists, even those online, allow searches by last name only, but not by first name only (although some such as Askart.com [www.askart.com] allow this). Clarity of identity is central to the western notion of the artistic genius who creates masterpieces which may be clearly situated and studied in relation to the contributions of other artists.
- When one speaks of artists who happen to be women, however, even the simplest biographical statements may be misleading. For example, one might say that Wikipedia:Jane Frank was born in 1918, but in reality, she was Wikipedia:Jane Schenthal at birth — Jane "Frank" didn't exist until over twenty years later.
- The changing of women's last names, combined with a research system based on patriarchally transmitted surnames, creates a discontinuity of identity for women, as a class, blurring the view for anyone trying to establish a clear path for the individual artistic careers of women.
- 1. Incorrect Attribution. Finally, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, work by women was often reassigned. Some unscrupulous dealers even went so far as to alter signatures, as in the case of some paintings by Wikipedia:Judith Leyster, seen in a self-portrait at right, which were reassigned to Wikipedia:Frans Hals.
- 2. Incorrect Attribution.
Wikipedia:Marie-Denise Villers (1774–1821) was a French painter, who specialized in Wikipedia:portraits. She was born Marie-Denise Lemoine in Paris. She came from an artistic family, and her sisters Marie-Victoire and Marie-Élisabeth Lemoine were also accomplished artists. In 1794, Marie-Denise married an architecture student, Michel-Jean-Maximilien Villers.
Villers was a student of the French painter Wikipedia:Girodet. She was first exhibited at the Wikipedia:Paris Salon of the Year VII (1799). Villers' most famous painting, Young Woman Drawing, (1801) is displayed in the Wikipedia:Metropolitan Museum of Art. The painting was attributed to Wikipedia:Jacques-Louis David at one time, but was later realized to be Villers' work. It is considered to be a self-portrait of the artist. 
By contrast, in the late twentieth century, in a rush to acquire paintings by women, there have been cases of paintings wrongly attributed to women.Template:Citation needed
See also Edit
- Wikipedia:Women artists
- Wikipedia:Feminist art
- Wikipedia:National Museum of Women in the Arts
- Wikipedia:List of 20th century woamen artists
- Wikipedia:Guerrilla Girls On Tour
- Wikipedia:Women in photography
- Wikipedia:Beaver Hall Group
- Native American women in the arts
- Wikipedia:List of female sculptors
- ↑ Nuns as Artists: The Visual Culture of a Medieval Convent, Jeffrey F. Hamburger, University of California Press
- ↑ Dutch Seventeenth-Century Genre Painting: Its Stylistic and Thematic Evolution, Wayne Franits, Yale University Press, 2008, ISBN 0-300-10237-2, page 49
- ↑ [Dutch Painting 1600-1800 Pelican history of art, ISSN 0553-4755, Yale University Press, p.129
- ↑ Stanton, Phoebe B., "The Sculptural Landscape of Jane Frank" World Cat monograph including b&w and color plates, 120pp. (A.S. Barnes: South Brunswick, New Jersey, and New York, 1968) ISBN 1-125-32317-5 [A second edition of this book was published in July 1969 (Yoseloff: London, ISBN 0-498-06974-5; also ISBN 978-0-498-06974-1). 144 pages, rare edition.]
- ↑ Metropolitan Museum of Art
- ↑ Hofstede de Groot, Cornelis. "Judith Leyster," Jahrbuch der Königlich Preussischen Kunstsammlungen vol. 14 (1893), pp. 190-198; 232.
- ↑ Hofrichter, Frima Fox. "Judith Leyster: Leading Star," Judith Leyster: A Dutch Master and Her World, (Yale University, 1993).
- ↑ Molenaer, Judith. "Leyster, Judith, Dutch, 1609 - 1660," National Gallery of Art website. Accessed Feb. 1, 2014.
- ↑ Hess, Thomas B. (1971). "Editorial: Is Women's Lib Medieval?".
- ↑ Higonnet, Anne. “White Dress, Broken Glass: Starting All Over Again in the Age of Revolution.” Norma Hugh Lifton Lecture. School of the Art Institute, Chicago. October 2011. Art historian Anne Higonnet argues that Young Woman Drawing is a self-portrait.
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