Articles, Artwork, Woman's History

Women of Art History

While the women of art history are often forgotten, the role of women in art cannot be understated.

Art history usually favors men in the field of art while women don’t share as much of the spotlight.

Women have long had a role in artistic endeavors- whether as collectors or patrons. Young women also face difficulties due to their gender. They may not have access to training places and cannot showcase their work. Another unique facet is that they must deal with the societal and gender implications.

Fun fact: Dibutades is the first well known female artist, tracing an image of mythology.

During the late twentieth century, women entered the art field to the feminist movement. They would purchase artworks, which would later be studied. Goddesses such as Athena and other Greek and Roman mythology incorporate female characters as well. Women have not just been spectators in the art field though.

The classic painting Portia Wounding Her Thigh signifies that women do have value just as much as men. In this painting, a woman is holding an object in front of a mirror. She has the same courage and strength as a man, based on the reflection of several men in the corner.

Another painting that shows the women in male dominated fields is the Nameless and Faceless. This painting depicts a woman not taken seriously as an artist, while men stare at her. There is contempt in the man’s faces, as they are not seeing the painter’s value. 

Surrealism is the form of art that women have dominated the most. And it goes to show that women are not only the objects in the paintings, but can be the painters as well. Just as underrated and diamonds in the rough, female painters can express admirable talent but must bear the gender inequalities.


Learn how bias affects our understanding of history here.

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  • Lula

    Beautiful article!! Well said :))

    September 22, 2022 at 12:11 pm
  • Varunika M.

    Great piece! It’s very informational and empowering.

    October 1, 2022 at 1:48 pm
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