2018 marks 100 years since women first started to gain voting rights in the United Kingdom. While we have come a long way, there is still progress to be made, especially in the inclusion of women artists in the art historical canon.
During the long fight for equal rights for women, there have been female artists who have influenced, broken from tradition and challenged a male-dominated establishment long before the rest of the world caught up.
Art is notoriously male-dominated but what you may not know is that women were key figures in some of the most game-changing movements in Art History.
Artemisia Gentileschi’s at once gruesome and beautiful Judith Beheading Holofernes has become a source of inspiration among modern feminists, long after it was painted in 1620, during the Baroque period.
Gentileschi, born in Rome in 1593, was the only female follower of Caravaggio and gained a reputation
It was highly unusual for a woman to be autonomous and have a successful career in the 1600s, but the road to success was not an easy one for Gentileschi. Her father, the artist Orazio Gentileschi,
She lived all over Italy until settling in Naples in 1641. She and her husband, from whom she later separated, had two daughters who also went on to be painters, like their mother.
Founding member of the Royal Academy Angelica Kauffman was born in Switzerland in 1741 and worked as an artist in London and Rome.
Kauffman became a member of the Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze aged 21 and soon
The Impressionists are perhaps one of the most well-known artists’ movements in history, next to the artists of the Italian Renaissance.
While Monet, Renoir, Pissarro and the others worked en
Morisot was not only a key member of the Impressionists but was also married to Édouard Manet’s brother Eugène. She even sat for her husband’s brother for a series of portraits.
A highly accomplished and acclaimed artist during her lifetime, the Impressionists – and within them, Morisot – changed painting forever.
When thinking of the most masculine and male-dominated art movements of all time, the Abstract Expressionists have got to be somewhere up there. Yet, as part of that movement, Frankenthaler’s innovation in the field of painting has left an indelible mark on the history of art and influenced many.
Starting with the gestural painting associated with the Abstract Expressionist movement, Frankenthaler began to pour paint onto the canvas, creating large areas of colour while revealing parts of the canvas beneath.
This graduated into
In the midst of ladette culture and the Britpop revolution at the beginning of the 1990s came the much-documented Young British Artists, pleasantly a movement with a number of women artists at the heart of it.
Tracey Emin divided opinion with her work Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963–1995 and her now-iconic My Bed. She also caused ructions with her outspoken opinions and lack of respect for the media. Somewhere in all of this she also won the hearts of the nation and the art world.
Emin built on her success, exploring working with
In her latest venture, Emin is heading back to her hometown of Margate and building her studio, with gallery and studio space. There is hope that the project will help rejuvenate the seaside town, which due to its proximity to London and cheap property prices is attracting a lot of artists.
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