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Defining the Renaissance 'Virtuosa': Women Artists and the Language of Art History and Criticism (Hardback)
  • Defining the Renaissance 'Virtuosa': Women Artists and the Language of Art History and Criticism (Hardback)

Defining the Renaissance 'Virtuosa': Women Artists and the Language of Art History and Criticism (Hardback)

Hardback 254 Pages / Published: 13/08/1997
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Leonardo, Raphael and Michelangelo are familiar names that are often closely associated with the concepts of genius and masterpiece. But what about Sofonisba Anguissola, Lavinia Fontana, and Irene di Spilimbengo? Their names are unfamiliar and their works are literally unknown. Why? Defining the Renaissance 'Virtuosa' considers the language of art in relationship to the issues of gender difference through an examination of art criticism written between 1550 and 1800 on approximately forty women artists who were active in Renaissance Italy. Fredrika Jacobs demonstrates how these theoretical writings defined women artists, by linking artistic creation and biological procreation. She also examines the ambiguity of these women as both beautiful object and creator of beautiful object. Jacobs' study shows how deeply the biases of these early critics have inflected both subsequent reception of these Renaissance virtuose, as well as modern scholarship.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521572705
Number of pages: 254
Weight: 540 g
Dimensions: 228 x 152 x 23 mm

"The book is more than a contribution to feminist revisionism; it also adds much to our understanding of how the art of painting was understood, and by defining 'feminine' artists and painting, it also gives a clearer sense of how 'masculinized' the concept of creativity was in the Renaissance." A. Langdale, Choice
"Thanks to the breadth of her textual analyses and the insightful questions she poses throughout, Jacobs offers a richly illuminating reading of the construction of the Renaissance woman artist. In turn, the book provides a welcome context for several worthy but more narrowly focused critical studies on related subjects whose contents she integrates into her own narrative....a considerable achievement in having uncovered and woven together a complex of ideas that expands consequentially our view of artistic activity in Early Modern Italy." Leslie Korrick, Sixteenth Century Jrnl

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