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Women Artists and Women in Art
Women, of course, have been central to the visual arts whether as creators of art, subjects of art or patrons of art. In this course we shall be concentrating on women as producers of art from the hand prints of prehistoric caves through the Baroque splendours of Artemisia Gentileschi to the photographs of Lee Miller. But we shall also be looking at how the representations of women have changed from the idealistic sculptures of Classical antiquity to the saints of the Middle Ages; from the depictions of house-proud women in the Dutch Golden Age to the images of sensual lovers from the Rococo. In addition, attention will be paid to women as facilitators of art whether as models like Victorine Meurent, Manet’s model for Olympia, or as patrons – I am thinking of Madame de Pompadour in the 18th c. and Peggy Guggenheim in the 20th c. But fundamentally this will be a survey of women artists through the ages, one which examines their work and explores the trials and tribulations which they had to overcome. We shall be looking at many of the big names, people like Elizabeth Vigee Le Brun, the wonderful Rococo portraitist, and Kathe Kollwitz, but also some of the more neglected figures like Camille Claudel and the Pop artists Pauline Boty. This is a fascinating story, full of big personalities, extraordinary images and challenging ideas. Come along and get to grips with a gendered view of the History of Art!