Our paper examines constraints on women’s production of art in early modern Europe. Social, economic, and other cultural forces discouraged women from working in genres that were held to produce “great art” and instead directed them to the confines of crafts, handiwork and other “domesticated art.” Effectively forbidden from engaging in certain genres, subject matters, and media, female artists nevertheless distinguished themselves and competed successfully for recognition during the Renaissance. Many of them were the daughters and wives of other artists, allowed to train in the family business and contribute to both its production and its income. One such group of artists was women engravers. The paper discusses the careers of five remarkably talented and successful female engravers, tracing their influence, innovations, and even international acclaim. Despite cultural hostility manifested in women’s exclusion from formal training, in the disparagement of both their natural abilities and their art, and in material impediments to their profession, a small group of female engravers from southern and northern Europe produced extraordinary and influential creative works.
|Keywords:||Renaissance Art, Gender, Genre, Engraving, Early Modern Europe|
Professor of English Literature, Department of English, College of Humanities, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA
University of Arizona, Arizona, USA
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