What is the course about?
On this course we will examine a group of immensely talented painters who won enormous international acclaim in their day, and included founder members of the Royal Academy and hugely sought-after portrait painters. We will look at highly esteemed artists who worked at the major European royal courts, others who were some of the greatest flower painters of the Dutch golden age (one of whose paintings sold for considerably more than Rembrandt’s), and painters of altarpieces and exquisite still lifes. The work of these artists hangs in Tate Britain, the National Gallery and other major collections around the world, yet most are not household names. The only thing these artists had in common was that they were all women.
On this course we will discuss how these extraordinary artists achieved so much at times when the odds were so stacked against them. What qualities did these women have? Why was it so difficult to be an artist and a woman at the same time? Why were women artists often restricted to certain genres (subjects)? And why do we hear so little about their work today? The artists whose work we will examine and discuss will include Sofonsiba Anguissola, Lavinia Fontana, Clara Peeters, Artemisia Gentileschi, Judith Leyster, Mary Beale, Rachel Ruysch, Rosalba Carriera, Angelica Kauffmann, Mary Moser and Louise-Marie-Elizabeth Vigée Le Brun and others.
What will we cover?
• A wide of range of work by women artists from different European countries and who specialized in all types of genres
• The cultural and social contexts of the time and how they impact women in art
• How women artists trained as artists and managed to achieve critical acclaim and success in their fields
• Formal analysis selected works and the relevance of the cultural contexts behind the paintings.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
• Name at least 5 women artists from the period 1400-1800 and identify the genres in which they worked
• Discuss the cultural and social issues that have affected the fame and reputation of women artists working this period
• Analyse one of the paintings discussed on the course in terms of its formal elements and how it reflect the culture and society in which it was made.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is suitable for all levels.
You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions, demonstrations, hand-outs and health and safety information, and will be invited to take part in group discussion.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will be taught with slide presentations and group discussions.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
You might wish to bring a notebook. You might wish to buy some of the books on any reading list given out in class.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
You might also be interested in:
• VB131 - Italian Renaissance drawing: design, form and function.
• VB858 - Women in art 1800-1900.
General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details