Henri Matisse, Portrait of Lydia Delectorska
I’ve been thinking about women a lot lately. Nothing to worry about, that’s fairly normal for me. Plus, the month of March includes International Women’s Day. We also saw the “Day Without Women” protest transpire this month. It got me thinking about Art Without Women. Frankly (and ironically), that’s almost unthinkable. Women have been the muse and subject matter of so many artists throughout the centuries that it would be impossible to consider the history of art without them.
Of course, in art, as in all other areas of society women have been objectified. But I believe art, for the most part, has helped to give a profound and significant image of women, one that reaches far beyond the superficial. There are countless examples of works that show women in so many facets: tender, strong, intelligent, fierce, graceful, vulnerable, soft, resilient, powerful, beautiful, compassionate and creative. All in all, art has served to present a true representation of the feminine spirit. As a man, I know art in its many forms has helped me to gain a greater appreciation for women in a society that still has a long way to go to reach full equality.
So, in praise and honor of women, I give you a gallery of images of women in art, some famous, some not-so-much. These are all simply of my choosing. I am sure there are better and more comprehensive lists and galleries than this. But I offer them as a part of my perspective.
A world without women would be a pathetic place. Art without women? Well, it would be even more pathetic still.
Leonardo da Vinci, Mona Lisa
Frida Kahlo, Self Portrait with Necklace
Edouard Manet, Berthe Morisot with a Bouquet of Violets
Mary Cassatt, Woman with Child
Claude Monet, Madame Monet and Child
Edgar Degas, Dancers at the Barre
Albert Marquet, Standing Nude
Mary Cassatt, The Long Gloves
Edouard Manet, A Bar at the Folies-Bergere
Pablo Picasso, The Dream
Paul Klee, Women Harvesting
Vincent Van Gogh, Young Peasant Woman in Straw Hat
Edgar Degas, After the Bath
Albert Marquet, Portrait of Marcelle Marquet
Paul Gauguin, Tahitian Women on the Beach
Johannes Vermeer, Woman in Blue Reading a Letter
Edgar Degas, Women Ironing
Henri Matisse, Women with Hat
Andy Warhol, Ingrid Bergman with Hat
Henri de Toulouse-Latrec, Portrait of Suzanne Valadon
Claude Monet, Woman with Parasol
Henri de Toulouse-Latrec, Young Woman at the Table
Johannes Vermeer, Girl with the Pearl Earring