Women in Art Timeline_SKeel

  • Period: 1100 to 1300

    The Middle Ages

  • 1200

    Illustration in a Bodleian Library Manuscript (Peasant Woman Milking a Cow)

    Illustration in a Bodleian Library Manuscript (Peasant Woman Milking a Cow)
    Most art during the Middle Ages was done in monasteries, primarily in the form of illuminated manuscripts, hand copied by both monks and nuns. These illustrations served functional as well as decorative purposes, and were meant to elaborate doctrines, record events, or tell stories. The lives of most medieval peoples were centered around work, which for women, included the demands of maternal and domestic responsibility illustrated in the peasant woman milking, and the cow grooming her calf.
  • 1230

    Hildegard Von Bingen. Book of Divine Works, Part 1, Vision 2: The Cosmic Spheres and Human Being

    Hildegard Von Bingen. Book of Divine Works, Part 1, Vision 2: The Cosmic Spheres and Human Being
    Hildegard of Bingen was a religious visionary who was part of the twelfth century move to personal spirituality. Pioneering in illuminated autobiography, she created a compilation of visions she believed were from God; a sort of roadmap to the divine purpose of being human. Hildegard illudes to the expectation and status of women when she stated in a previous work (Scivias), “But I... refused to write for a long time through doubt and bad opinion and the diversity of human words...
  • Period: 1400 to


  • 1560

    The Last Supper

    The Last Supper
    Self-taught, Sister Plautilla Nelli is one of the only female's known to have painted the iconic religious scene, the last supper. In this rendition, each character is life-size, and unlike other versions, the table is actually laden with food. Nelli was a master of emotion, evident in the almost palpable love Jesus shows to John as he cradles his head; equally, her level of realism is evident in the curves of the veins visible in each figures hands.
  • 1577

    Self Portrait at the Virginal with a Servant

    Self Portrait at the Virginal with a Servant
    Lavinia Fontana is known as the first professional female painter.True to the naturalism and style of Caravaggio that inspired many painters of the Renaissance period, Self-Portrait at the Virginal is painted with immensely detailed and illuminated characters set against a dark background. Though this first self-portrait of Fontana illustrated her "required duties" as a woman, she sends the message that painting is where her real talent lies by depicting an easel barely lit in the background.
  • Period: to

    17th Century

  • Susanna and the Elders

    Susanna and the Elders
    Artemisia Gentileschi, born in 1593 is a feminist icon. The daughter of a painter, her skill advanced quickly, completing Susanna and the Elders at just 17. She was a master of emotion and her level of realism so precise, that it lead to her work often being attributed to her father. Artemesia often portrayed the heroine in her paintings; in Susanna and the Elders, Susanna shoves away the advances of the two older gentlemen in a way that showed her defiance of the expectation of the times.
  • Portia Wounding Her Thigh

    Portia Wounding Her Thigh
    Elisabetta Siranni was close to Artemisia Gentileschi, both in talent and composition. Siranni was so quick at her execution, that she too had to fight to prove that her work was not that of her father's. Many see Portia Wounding Her Thigh 1664, as a sort of self-portrait for Siranni, for just as Portia had to endure a torturous act to prove her worthiness to the realm of men, Siranni too often painted in public so as to dispell the idea that her work was anyone's but her own.
  • Period: to

    18th Century

  • Shock Dog

    Shock Dog
    Anne Seymour Damer had two great loves in her life, her sculpting and her most beloved dog; Shock Dog c.1782 is a testament to both. Damer was considered a bit of an eccentric, and even ridiculed with satire in the press, for her choice to pursue sculpture. However, her artistic mastery is evident in the almost life-like texture of the dog’s coat, a naturalism that plays a heavy role in her work. Sculpture goes back to classic origins, to which Damer paid homage, by engraving her name in Greek.
  • Oath of the Horatii

    Oath of the Horatii
    Historical painting was something that women were believed to be denied due to lack of training. Jaques-Louise David, depicted the roles of men and women clearly in this Neoclassical painting. What makes this Neoclassical, is the depiction of virtuous behavior the classical ideas that men were depicted as strong and rigid, while by contrast the women are curvilinear, and seen in distress as they were believe to only be able to handle familial and emotional subject matter.
  • Period: to

    19th Century

  • On the Terrace at Sèvres (Sur la terrasse à Sèvres)

    On the Terrace at Sèvres (Sur la terrasse à Sèvres)
    Marie Bracquemond was largely self-taught. Having not had the access that was accustomed to the more upper bourgeoisie, and a husband that discouraged her talents, Marie did not have as long of a career as her talents deserved. On the Terrace at Sèvres is an impressionistic self-portrait depicting the artist and a few friends in the artist's private garden. Varied company was only acceptable in certain situations, so it is no surprise that many of her paintings were painted in this setting.
  • In the Studio

    In the Studio
    The Académie Julie was one of the only places where women had the ability to study anatomy, equal to that of what males had for so many years before. Marie Bashkirtseff chose to commemorate history, by recording an all female class. In the painting, the artist portrays herself in the forefront, a sort of self-portrait, and self-affirmation as a professional artist in one, as she is depicted finally, just as any other student, with the tools of the trade studying... equal to men.
  • Period: to

    20th Century

  • Rayonist Sea

    Rayonist Sea
    Natalia Goncharova was a female artist part of the Russian Avante-Garde. .). In 1911, Goncharova and Larionov founded a Russian abstract movement known as rayonism, in which it was believed the the light force of all things was the only thing worth painting. In Rayonist Sea, geometrical spikes of deep blue and crimson red are broken only by the sharp wisps of white, like the caps of a rolling sea.
  • Les Lanceurs de Filet

    Les Lanceurs de Filet
    The 20th century brought about more openness in within the art schools, and women were not shy about taking part. Suzanne Valadon was actually the first female to exhibit at the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, in 1894. Valadon was clearly ambitious, as using the male form as an object of desire as she did in her painting, Les Lanceurs de filet 1914, was well ahead of her time. However, for the first time, women were able to depict men in a way that women had been cast for so many years before
  • Grand Street Brides

    Grand Street Brides
    A second generation abstract expressionist, Grace Hartigan, paints in the spirit of Matisse. Grand Street Brides (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York), is a venture into abstract figuration that depicts Hartigan's world around her, with a homage to history. Born from a bridal shop window scene from her neighborhood, this painting is symbolic of the brides for purchase from Europe that were often brought to the very same part of her neighborhood in a different time.
  • The Dinner Party (1974-1979)

    The Dinner Party (1974-1979)
    The Dinner Party (Brooklyn Museum, New York), by Judy Chicago, a 576 × 576 inch triangular table, is a larger than life tribute to women who pioneered art history. There are 39 places of honor (13 on each side); each dinner setting is done in vulvar and butterfly motifs, in the style of the woman it honors. In addition to the 39 women, the tiles that make up the floor bear the names of another 999 women who played a role; a testament to the foundation they laid for the women to come after.
  • Period: to

    21st Century

  • Fireflies On The Water

    Fireflies On The Water
    Fireflies on The Water (2020), is one of Yayoi Kusama’s “infinity rooms.” This room, compiled of ribbon lights, mirrors, and water, creates a seemingly endless universe of dots, or “fireflies” to engulf its viewer in. Seeing the world as a small speck in this grand universe, Kusama believes that their is freedom in realizing how small our existence is. With this installation comes just that, a flattening against the cosmos, and yet awe and wonder of what that expanse holds.
  • Layered Screen Drawings

    Layered Screen Drawings
    Part of a collection of 24 pieces titled Screen Drawings, Tara Donovan, an American sculptor and installation artist, manipulated aluminum screen, creating different patterns with ink on paper. In this piece, the paper is patterned end to end with the small scores made from the screen. These drawing attune the eye to subtle shifts in pattern, not only suggesting movement, but creating feeling. Human perception is a fascination for Donovan, and it is captured brilliantly in something so common.