Love and Roses
Assignment Proposals due on Blackboard
Lupercalia Festival
Conrad Dressler, Lupercales, 1907.











Reasons that Medieval women joined convents:


  • Wanted to live a religious life
  • Adult women with pasts to be forgotten
  • Daughters presented as tithes by parents
  • Sickly or un-marriageable daughter
  • Women who wanted to escape the roles of motherhood and marriage - convents provided the only opportunity for women to live outside the constraints of medieval society
Claricia from the German Psalter,  13th century.










Hildegard of Bingen
1098 - 1179


Carpet page from Scivias

Hildegard of Bingen, Scivias, 1142 - 1152.


Scivias = Know the Ways












Hildegard von Bingen, the Fifth Vision of the Second Part from Scivias, 1142 - 1152.


More illustrations from the Scivias











Christine de Pizan
1364 - 1430


Christine and Justice

When her husband died, Christine de Pizan turned to writing for income
  • She supported herself, her mother and her three children with her writings
  • Became the first known woman in western literature to make a living off of her art
Christine with Justice, 15th century.












The Book of the City of Ladies
Written as a retort to Jean de Meun's popular, Roman de la Rose
  • Pizan defends women by collecting famous women, who become the bricks by which she build the walls and houses of the city.
  • Each woman supports her argument that women are valuable participants in society.
Christine de Pizan, Opening Page of the Book of the City of Ladies, 1405.










"If it were customary to send daughters to school like sons, and if they were then taught the natural sciences, they would learn as thoroughly and understand the subtleties of all the arts and sciences as well as sons."
- Christine de Pizan, The Book of the City of Ladies
Christine de Pizan, Book of the City of Ladies, 1405.











Christine presenting work to Queen Isabeu of Bavaria, 1410 - 1411.











Historical Context
Guttenberg begins selling one of the first books published with movable type in the West (movable type invented in China about 400 years earlier)

Gutenberg Bible

Gutenberg Bible


Portuguese explorers reach Africa's Gold Coast
Pope Innocent VII succeeds to papacy and outlaws witchcraft
Columbus discovers West Indies and South America
First road map of Europe published
Beginning of Protestant Reformation
First circumnavigation of the earth
Sack of Rome











Vitruvian Man

Significant developments in the western world view
become influential by the 1400s:
  • Increased exploration of the world
  • Scientific investigation of nature and the human body
  • Medieval religious zeal becomes more tempered
  • Development of the city-state and nations
  • Growth of capitalism and trade
  • Guilds become more powerful and women's participation in them less common
  • The artist's social standing is eventually
    elevated from skilled laborer to gifted intellectual
Leonardo da Vinci, Vitruvian Man, c. 1487.











The three most recognized Florentine Renaissance artists...
Mona Lisa
Madonna of the Meadow
Da Vinci, Mona Lisa, c. 1503 - 1505.
Raphael, Madonna of the Meadow, 1505.
Michelangelo, David, 1501 - 1504.










Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?

Portrait of a Lady

  • Women historically not allowed similar education as men
  • Use of linear perspective required knowledge of mathematics, something women were viewed incapable of understanding
  • Realism demanded an intimate, anatomical knowledge of the body. Women were considered too "delicate" to handle seeing naked strangers let alone understand the complexities of anatomy.
  • Professional artists were expected to travel frequently, but numerous restrictions prevented women from ever traveling
  • Women not allowed same exhibition /professional opportunities
Rogier van der Weyden, Portrait of a Lady, c. 1460.











The value of media was categorized with paint considered superior to all other media
  • Women often only allowed to work in media not traditionally considered "fine art"
  • Women often worked in media that were not typically signed
  • Women often worked in perishable media
  • Numerous works by women remain falsely credited to male artists
Cosimo Tura and Francesco Cossa,
The Triumph of Minerva, c. 1470.











15th century intellectuals were aware of the great changes of their age and became the first people to name their own time

Lavinia Fontana

Renascita = the rebirth
Inspired by newly discovered ancient ruins, artworks and texts, Renaissance intellectuals declared the Classic world the height of western civilization thus far
But, they always made clear that their civilization would be better...
Lavinia Fontana, Self-Portrait, 1579.











Humanism = a cultural and intellectual movement during the Renaissance, following the rediscovery of the art and literature of ancient Greece and Rome. A philosophy or attitude concerned with the interests, achievements and capabilities of human beings rather than with the abstract concepts and problems of theology.
Medieval Pieta
Renaissance Pieta

Roettgen Pieta


Roettgen Pieta, Early 14th century.
Michelangelo, Pietà, c. 1500.










Bologna was unique among Italian cities for:

  • Having a university that admitted women, beginning in the 13th century
    • (Women were allowed to teach, but only from behind a screen)
  • Painter's guild honored a female patron - Saint Catherine
    • Men and women joined artisans guild equally
  • More women artists associated with Bologna than any other Italian city
Map of Europe during the Early Renaissance











Sofonisba Anguissola
c. 1532 - 1625


Boy Bitten by a Crayfish

Sofonisba Anguissola, Boy Bitten by a Crayfish, 1559.











Bernardino Campi Painting Sofonisba Anguisola

Sofonisba Anguissola, Bernardino Campi Painting Sofonisba Anguissola, Late 1550s.