An incredible feat of animation, this video gives us 500 years in the history of art via the portraits of women, each blending seamlessly into the next. It reminds me of the ways art and artists are always connected, always standing on the shoulders of the ones before them, always creating in an unbroken line. It also reminds me that our art history has been very Caucasian: This is most definitely a look at Northern European/North American art. As such, it is only a small slice of those 500 years. Nevertheless, a beautiful video well worth the watching…
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.