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Why are women artists of the Italian Renaissance and Baroque so relatively unknown today when, during their lifetimes, their artistic merits were celebrated by their foremost contemporaries? In choosing to discuss women's artistic productions within established historical and geographical frameworks, "Italian Women Artists of the Renaissance and Baroque" aims to provide the first survey of women professionally active as painters, engravers and sculptors in 16th and 17th century Italy, and to document the socio-cultural context that contributed to shape their lives and oeuvres. This catalogue, published in association with the travelling exhibition which opens at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington D. C., examines the artistic practices and achievements of these remarkable women who managed to gain public, if not, international acclaim.The catalogue features 60 outstanding works by a dozen of foremost Italian female artists (Properzia de' Rossi, Sofonisba Anguissola, Lavinia Fontana, Artemisia Gentileschi, Barbara Longhi, Fede Galizia, Lucia Fretti, Chiara Varotari, Elisabetta Sirani, Orsola Maddalena Caccia, Giavanna Garzoni), and offers an unparalleled opportunity to understand their social predicaments, appreciate their personalities and assess their stylistic developments. This scholarly publication will undoubtedly make a significant contribution to the re-emergence of these women as artists of stature and thus constitute a new departure for historical investigations into the way gender has affected how we perceive works of art and into issues of attributions and art market economics. About the Author:
Claudio Strinati is Head of the Museums of Rome. Jordana Pomeroy is Curator of Painting & Sculpture before 1900 at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C.
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