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Women Artists from the Renaissance to the Pre-Raphaelites

Art history often focuses on the celebrity genius—exceptional men who mark an era. Too often, extraordinary women artists have been overlooked despite their inventiveness, popularity, and resounding triumphs in their era. Why are works by women artists often overshadowed and even forgotten? This course considers how women had to navigate societal expectations with their drive to be recognized as professionals. Often, they faced difficult choices, sacrificing in their personal lives or career options. Others battled societal and professional restrictions, with mixed results. Even the most admired and accomplished fell into obscurity upon their death, no matter the successes they achieved while living. Together, we will resuscitate and celebrate the art careers of historical women, including breakthrough Renaissance artists Sofonisba Anguissola, Properzia de’ Rossi, Lavinia Fontana, and Elisabetta Sirani; baroque powerhouse Artemisia Gentileschi; Dutch masters Clara Peeters and Judith Leyster; 18th-century British and French academicians; realist Rosa Bonheur; and early modernists Eva Gonzalès and Marie Spartali Stillman.

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You'll Walk Away with

  • An understanding of women’s contribution to the fine arts
  • Familiarity with notable women artists

Ideal for

  • Art enthusiasts
  • Prospective and practicing arts professionals
  • All members of the community—working, retired, and in between
NO open sections available for this course at the moment. Please check back next semester.