By Natalie Donaldson SAM TAC 2023-24...Read More
Women Artists, Past and Present
By Sophia Chursina
SAM TAC 2022-23
Can you guess who was denied all political rights and legally considered their husband’s property? That’s right, women during the Renaissance. But that didn’t stop them from being iconic.
Take, for example, Sofonisba Anguissola. Although her father wasn’t a painter but a nobleman, he encouraged her and her sisters to pursue their artistic endeavors, even though women were not allowed to learn anatomy or draw live-nude-figures. She was so talented that she became one of the most reputable and recognizable painters of the 16th century. Her fame was so great, that she even corresponded with the cream of the crop, Michelangelo, who praised her work on her painting, Boy Bitten by a Crayfish, which she based on his sketch of Boy bitten by a Lizard.
Talk about forging your own path.
Of course it does.
The women painters of this period are directly parallel to women creating contemporary art, and drawing from the difficulties they too face. This theme can still be attributed to women artists of today’s age, much like Katrina Coombs, whose works feature subjects that are not typically discussed openly, like fertility, women’s anatomy, and stories about her own hardships related to motherhood. And while women may have exponentially more rights and freedoms today than they did during the Renaissance period, there are still topics that hold great importance but are still taboo. And there are still women who wish to find the strength to tell their stories.