I took a full year of Art History when I was in art school. Basically, we started with Paleolithic art (caveman paintings) then worked our way all around the world, and ended in the 1950’s right around the time of Warhol. The book for this three-term course probably weighed at least ten pounds. Throughout the year, we literally studied maybe 3 female artist. Maybe. So, looking through over 50,000 years of art, there were no females represented. Now, I get that females aren’t the only ones that get left out of history, and that history is the story of the victor, but damn. Ironically, when we first came across a female painter, which was Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-1653), they chose the painting Judith Beheading Holofernes. So, out of all of her gorgeous work, they chose to use one where a female is beheading the man who is trying to rape her. This classic painting has been done by so many painters, but I found this particularly interesting because it makes her seem like a man hater. Why do women have to be man haters to be strong?
If you have any suggestions of female artists I should look into, please let me know.
Artemisia Gentileschi, Judith Beheading Holofernes , oil on canvas.