Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?

"In the beginning, god was a woman."
- Mary Kilbourne Matossian

Probably Inanna, Sumerian, c. 2,000 BCE.











"A feminist critique of the discipline of art history is needed which can pierce cultural-ideological limitations, to reveal biases and inadequacies not merely in regard to the question of women artists, but in the formulation of the crucial questions of the discipline as a whole. Thus the so-called woman question far from being a peripheral subissue, can become a catalyst, a potent intellectural instrument, probing the most basic and 'natural' assumptions, providing a paradigm for other kinds of internal questioning, and providing links with paradigms established by radical approaches in other fields."
Hannah Wilke, S.O.S. Starification Object Series, 1974.











Angelica Kauffmann, Angelica Hesitating between Music and Painting, c. 1765.

Artemisia Gentileschi, Judith Beheading Holofernes, 1615 - 1620.











"Many contemporary feminists assert that there is actually a different kind of greatness for women's art than for men's - They propose the existence of a distinctive and recognizable feminine style."

Orazio Gentileschi, Danae, c. 1621.

Artemisia Gentileschi, The Sleeping Venus, 1630.











Jean-Honore Fragonard, The Shepherdess, c.1750 - 1752.











"The fault lies not in our stars, our hormones, our menstrual cycles, or our empty internal spaces, but in our institutions and our education."
Mary Cassatt, Woman Reading, 1878 - 1879.