Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Figuration Féminine

Figuration Féminine is an art weblog by the French artist Myrtille Henrion-Picco (see also her own work blog and MySpace page). Its scope is

Peinture de la femme par le femme, pleine de douceur, de grâce, avec parfois une note inquiétante ou humoristique

Paintings of women by women, full of gentleness, of grace, sometimes with a disturbing or humorous note

and is a chronological showcase of the work (with brief biographies) of some 300 female painters, born between 1031 CE -1921 CE.

I recognised Hildegarde of Bingen, Sofonisba Anguissola, Artemisia Gentileschi, Suzanne Valadon, Dora Carrington, Frida Kahlo, Dorothea Tanning, Sylvia Sleigh, and Beryl Cook . These, however, were the exception: most, I'd guess, are unknown to anyone with a general level of knowledge of art history. One could speculate endlessly as to the precise mix of social factors that sidelined in history hundreds of female artists as talented as - and in many cases more so than - any number of their male contemporaries; but however you look at it, the end result, even now not fully redressed, is appalling. Browse Figuration Féminine and be amazed and moved.

See also (via Wikipedia, and in no particular order) Women Artists, Victorian and Edwardian Women Artists, Women Painters Index: 1893 Exposition and Pre-Raphaelite Women.

- Ray (and finding credits to Clare Girvan for this one; I've asked her if she can write a guest commentary).

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