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KOHÂ» HR ART UBRARY
Tllnii^creiti? of Mieconain
Digitized by VjOOQIC
%p Clara ^xAixit Clement
(Mrs. Â£. F. Watbrs.)
WOMEN IN THE FINE ARTS: From the Seventh Cen-
tury B. c, to the Twentieth Century a. d. A Handbook.
With many full-page illustrations. lamo, #2.50, net.
STORIES OF ART AND ARTISTS. Prof uscly illustrated.
4to, gilt top, I4.00.
A HANDBOOK OF LEGENDARY AND MYTHOLOGI-
CAL ART. With descriptive Illustrations. Enlaiged
Edition, ismo, $3.00.
PAINTERS, SCULPTORS, ARCHITECTS, ENGRAV-
ERS, AND THEIR WORKS. A Handbook. With 11-
lustrations and Monograms. Enlarged Edition, ismo,
A HANDBOOK OF CHRISTIAN SYMBOLS AND STO-
RIES OF THE SAINTS, AS ILLUSTRATED IN ART.
Edited by Kathbrinb E. Conway. With many full-
page Illustrations. Crown 8yo, gilt top, $3.00. The Same,
without Illustrations, crown 8vo, f 1.50.
ELEANOR MAITLAND. A Novel i6mo,$i.25.
^9 Mt0. Clement anti %mxma l^tttton.
ARTISTS OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY, AND
THEIR WORKS. A Handbook containing 2050 Bio-
graphical Sketches. Fully revised, ismo, $3.00.
HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN & COMPANY,
Boston and Nbw York.
Alinari. Photo. In the Bologna Gallery
THE INFANT CHRIST
fV THE MXJ: MVi'S
fKÂ» .' H'.! : '-\ J-
IN THE FINE ARTS
FROM THE SEVENTH CENTURY B. C.
TWENTIETH CENTURY A. D.
CLARA ERSKINE CLEMENT^t. lA/ojCL/u^
AUTHOR OF **A HANDBOOK OF LEGENDARY AND MYTHOLOGICAL
ART," "PAINTERS, SCULPTORS, ARCHITECTS AND
fFITH MANr FULL-PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS
BOSTON AND NEW YORK
HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY
COPYRIGHT 1904 BY CLARA ERSKINS CLEMENT-WATBRS
ALL RIGHTS RBSSRVSD
Published October^ tgo4
flAR -6 1917
As a means of coirecting material for this book I
have sent to many artists in Great Britain and in various
countries of Europe, as well as in the United States, a
circular, asking where their studies were made, what
honors they have received, the titles of their principal
I take this opportunity to thank those who have cor-
dially replied to my questions, many of whom have given
me fuller information than I should have presumed to
ask ; thus assuring correctness in my statements, which
newspaper and magazine notices of artists and their
works sometimes fail to do.
I wish especially to acknowledge the courtesy of those
who have given me photographs of their pictures and
sculpture, to be used as illustrations.
Clara Erskine Clement.
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
The Infant Christ . Elisabetta Sirani â€” Frontispiece
In the Bologna Gallery. By permbsion of Fratelli Alinari
A Portrait .... Elizabeth Gowdy Baker 22
A Portrait Adelaide CoU Chase 80
From a Copley print. Copyright, 1901, by Curtis and Cameron.
A Canadian Interior . . Emma Lampert Cooper 86
Angiola Louise Cox 94
From a Copley print. Copyright, 1898, by Curtis and Cameron.
Dorothy Lydia Field Emmet 118
From a Copley print Copyright, 1899, by Curtis and Cameron.
A Picture Miniature . . Lucia Fairchild Fuller 138
Judith with the Head of Holofernes . Artemisia
Gentiles chi 140
In the Pitti Gallery. By permbsion of Fratelli Alinari.
Give us This Day our Daily Bread . Berths Girardet 142
The Departure of Summer , . Louise Z. Heustis 160
From a Copley print. Copyright, 1900, by Curtis and Cameron.
Miniature of Persis Blair . . Laura Coombs Hills 162
Child of the People .... Helen Hyde 172
Mother and Child .... Phasbe A, Jenks 174
Miss Ellen Terry as "Portia" Louise Jopling Rowe 176
X WOMEN IN THE FINE ARTS
Angelica Kauffman . . . Angelica Kauffman i8o
In the Uffizi Gallery. By permission of Fratelli Alinari.
Portrait of Rosa Bonheur . . Anna E, Klumpke 196
A Family of Dogs Matilda Lotz 216
Fritz ...... Clara T, MacChesney 218
From a Copley print. Copyright, 1903, by Curtis and Cameron.
Saint Catherine .... Mary L, Macomber 220
From a Copley print. Copyright, 1897, by Curtis and Cameron.
Monument for a Tomb .... Ida Matton 232
In Cemetery in Gefle, Sweden.
Delft .... Blanche McManus Mansfield 234
An Indian after the Chase . Rhoda Holmes^ Nichols 250
Flowers Helen Searle Pattison 266
St. Christopher . . Engraved by Caroline A, Powell 275
In Doge's Palace, Venice
Genevese Watchmaker .... Aimee Rapin 280
In the Museum at Neuchatel.
May Day at Whitelands College, Chelsea. Anna
Mary Richards . . . . . . . . 286
Fruit, Flowers, and Insects . . Rachel Ruysch 304
In the Piiti Gallery. By permission of Fratelli Alinari.
A Frog Fountain Janet Scudder 312
A French Prince . . â€¢ Marie Vigie Le Brun 340
La Vierge au Rosier .... Sadie Waters 356
By courtesy of Braun, Clement et Cie.
Song of Ages Ethel Wright 368
From a Copley print. Copyright, 1903, by Curtis and Cameron.
Statue of Daniel Boone . . . Enid Yandell 370
Made for St. Louis Exposition.
In studying the subject of this book I have found the
names of more than a thousand women whose attainments
in the Fine Artsâ€” in various countries and at different
periods of time before the middle of the nineteenth cen-
turyâ€”entitle them to honorable mention as artists, and
I doubt not that an exhaustive search would largely in-
crease this number. The stories of many of these women
have been written with more or less detail, while of others
we know little more than their names and the titles of a
few of their works; but even our scanty knowledge of
them is of value.
Of the army of women artists of the last century it is
not yet possible to speak with judgment and justice, al-
though many have executed works of which all women
may be proud.
We have some knowledge of women artists in ancient
days. Few stories of that time are so authentic as that
of Kora, who made the design for the first bas-relief, in
the city of Sicyonia, in the seventh century b.c. We have
the names of other Grieek women artists of the centuries
immediately preceding and following the Christian era,
but we know little of their lives and works.
Calypso was famous Ipii the excellence of her character
xii WOMEN IN THE FINE ARTS
pictures, a remarkable one being a portrait of Theodorus,
the Juggler. A picture found at Pompeii, now at Naples,
is attributed to this artist ; but its authorship is so uncer-
tain that little importance can be attached to it. Pliny
praised Eirene, among whose pictures was one of "An
Aged Man" and a portrait of " Alcisthenes, the Dancer."
In the annals of Roman Art we find few names of
women. For this reason Laya, who lived about a cen-
tury before the Christian era, is important. She is honored
as the original painter of miniatures, and her works on
ivory were greatly esteemed. Pliny says she did not
marry, but pursued her art with absolute devotion; and
he considered her pictures worthy of great praise.
A large picture in Naples is said to be the work of
Laya, but, as in the case of Calypso, we have no assurance
that it is genuine. It is also said that Laya's portraits
commanded larger prices than those of Sopolis and Dyo-
nisius, the most celebrated portrait painters of their time.
Our scanty knowledge of individual women artists of
antiquity â€” mingled with fable as it doubtless isâ€” serves
the important purpose of proving that women, from very
ancient times, were educated as artists and creditably fol-
lowed their profession beside men of the same periods.
This knowledge also awakens imagination, and we won-
der in what other ancient countries there were women art-
ists. We know that in Egypt inheritances descended in
the female line, as in the case of the Princess Karamat ;
and since we know of the great architectural works of
Queen Hashop and her journey to the land of Punt, we
may reasonably assume that the women of ancient Egypt
^had their share in all the interests of life. Were there
not artists among them who decorated temples and tombs
with their imperishable colors? Did not women paint
those pictures of Isis â€” goddess of Sothis â€” that are like
precursors of the pictures of the Immaculate Conception ?
Surely we may hope that a papyrus will be brought to
light that will reveal to us the part that women had in the
decoration of the monuments of ancient Egypt.
At present we have no reliable records of the lives and
works of women artists before the time of the Renaissance
M. Taine's philosophy which regards the art of any
people or period as the necessary result of the conditions
of race, religion, civilization, and manners in the midst of
which the art was produced â€” ^and esteems a knowledge of
these conditions as sufficient to account for the character
of the art, seems to me to exclude many complex and mys-
terious influences, especially in individual cases, which
must affect the work of the artists. At the same time an
intelligent study of the art of any nation or period de-
mands a study of the conditions in which it was produced,
and I shall endeavor in this r^sum^ol the history of women
in Art â€” mere outline as it is â€” to give an idea of the at-
mosphere in which they lived and worked, and the influ-
ences which affected the results of their labor.
It has been claimed that everything of importance that
originated in Italy from the thirteenth to the seventeenth
century bore the distinctive mark of Fine Art. So high
an authority as John Addington Symonds is in accord
xiv WOMEN IN THE FINE ARTS
with this view, and the study of these four centuries is of
Although the thirteenth century long preceded the
practice of art by women, its influence was a factor in
the artistic life into which they later came. In this cen-
tury Andrea Tafi, Guido da Siena, and other devoted souls
were involved in the final struggles of Mediaeval Art, and
at its close Cimabue and Duccio da Siena â€” the two mas-
ters whose Madonnas were borne in solemn procession
through the streets of Florence and Siena, mid music and
the pealing of bells â€” ^had given the new impulse to paint-
ing which brought them immortal fame. They were the
heralds of the time when poetry of sentiment, beauty of
color, animation and individuality of form should replace
Mediaeval formality and ugliness ; a time when the spirit
of art should be revived with an impulse prophetic of its
But neither this portentous period nor the fourteenth
century is memorable in the annals of women artists.
Not until the fifteenth, the century of the full Renais-
sance, have we a record of their share in the great rebirth.
It is important to remember that the art of the Renais-
sance had, in the beginning, a distinct office to fill in the
service of the Church. Later, in historical and decorative
painting, it served the State, and at length, in portrait and
landscape painting, in pictures of genre subjects and still-
life, abundant opportunity was afforded for all orders of
talent, and the generous patronage of art by church, state,
and men of rank and wealth, made Italy a veritable para-
dise for artists.
Gradually, with the revival of learning, artists were free
to give greater importance to secular subjects, and an ele-
ment of worldliness, and even of immorality, invaded the
realm of art as it invaded the realms of life and literature.
This was an era of change in all departments of life.
Chivalry, the glreat " poetic lie," died with feudalism, and
the relations between men and women became more
natural and reasonable than in the preceding centuries.
Women were liberated from the narrow sphere to which
they had been relegated in the minstrel's song and poet's
rhapsody, but as yet neither time nor opportunity had
been given them for the study and development which
must precede noteworthy achievement.
Remarkable as was the fifteenth century for intellectual
and artistic activity, it was not productive in its early
decades of great genius in art or letters. Its marvellous
importance was apparent only at its close and in the
beginning of the sixteenth century, when the works of
Leonardo, Michael Angelo, Raphael, Titian, and their fol-
lowers emphasized the value of the progressive attain-
ments of their predecessors.
The assertion and contradiction of ideas and theories)
the rivalries of differing schools, the sweet devotion of
Fra Angelico, the innovations of Masolino and Masaccio,
the theory of perspective of Paolo Uccello, the varied
works of Fabriano, Antonello da Messina, the Lippi, Bot-
ticelli, Ghirlandajo, the Bellini, and their contemporaries,
culminated in the inimitable painting of the Cinquecento
â€” in works still unsurpassed, ever challenging artists of
later centuries to the task of equalling or excelling them.
xvi WOMEN IN THE FINE ARTS
The demands of the art of the Renaissance were so
great, and so unlike those of earlier days, that it is not
surprising that few women, in its beginning, attained to
such excellence as to be remembered during five cen-
turies. Especially would it seem that an insurmountable
obstacle had been placed in the way of women, since the
study of anatomy had become a necessity to an artist.
This, and kindred hindrances, too patent to require enu-
meration, account for the fact that but two Italian women
of this period became so famous as to merit notice â€” Ca-
terina Vigri and Onorata Rodiana, whose stories are given
in the biographical part of this book.
In Flanders, late in the fourteenth and early in the fif-
teenth centuries, women were engaged in the study and
practice of art. In Bruges, when the Van Eycks were
inventing new methods in the preparation of colors, and
painting their wonderful pictures, beside them, and scarce-
ly inferior to them, was their sister, Margaretha, who sac-
rificed much of her artistic fame by painting portions of
her brothers' pictures, unless the fact that they thought
her worthy of thus assisting them establishes her reputa-
tion beyond question.
In the fifteenth century we have reason to believe that
many women practised art in various departments, but
so scanty and imperfect are the records of individual
artists that little more than their names are known,
and we have no absolute knowledge of the value of
their works, or where, if still existing, they are to be
The art of the Renaissance reached its greatest excel-
lence during the last three decades of the fifteenth and
the first half of the sixteenth century. This was a glor-
ious period in the History of Art. The barbarism of the
Middle Ages was essentially a thing of the past, but much
barbaric splendor in the celebration of ceremonies and
festivals still remained to satisfy the artistic sense, while
every-day costumes and customs lent a picturesqueness to
ordinary life. So much of the pagan spirit as endured
was modified by the spirit of the Renaissance. The re-
sult was a new order of things especially favorable to
An artist now felt himself as free to illustrate the pagan
myths as to represent the events in the lives of the
Saviour, the Virgin and the saints, and the actors in the
sacred subjects were represented with the same beauty
and grace of form as were given the heroes and heroines of
Hellenic legend. St. Sebastian was as beautiful as Apol-
lo, and the imagination and senses were moved alike by
pictures of Danae and the Magdalene â€” the two subjects
being often the work of the same artist.
The human form was now esteemed as something more
than the mere habitation of a soul; it was beautiful in.
itself and capable of awakening unnumbered emotions in
the human heart. Nature, too, presented herself in a new
aspect and inspired the artist with an ardor in her repre-
sentation such as few of the older painters had experienced
in their devotion to religious subjects.
This expansion of thought and purpose was inaugurating
an art attractive to women, to which the increasing
xviii WOMEN IN THE FINE ARTS
liberty of artistic theory and practice must logically make
them welcome; a result which is a distinguishing feature
of sixteenth-century painting.
The sixteenth century was noteworthy for the generous
patronage of art, especially in Florence, where the policy
of its ruling house could not fail to produce marvellous
results, and the history of the Medici discloses many rea-
sons why the bud of the Renaissance perfected its bloom
in Florence more rapidly and more gloriously than else-
For centuries Italy had been a treasure-house of Greek,
Etruscan, and Byzantine Art. In no other country had a
civilization like that of ancient Rome existed, and no other
land had been so richly prepared to be the birthplace and
to promote the development of the art of the Renais-
The intellectually progressive life of this period did much
for the advancement of women. The fame of Vittoria
Colonna, TuUia d'Aragona, Olympia Morata, and many
others who merit association in this goodly company,
proves the generous spirit of the age, when in the scho-
lastic centres of Italy women were free to study all
branches of learning.
The pursuit of art was equally open to them and women
were pupils in all the schools and in the studios of many
masters ; even Titian instructed a woman, and all the ad-
vantages for study enjoyed by men were equally available
for women. Many names of Italian women artists could
be added to those of whom I have written in the biographi-
cal portion of this book, but too little is known of their
lives and works to be of present interest. There is, how-
ever, little doubt that many pictures attributed to " the
School of " various masters were painted by women.
Art did not reach its perfection in Venice until later
than in Florence, and its special contribution, its glorious
color, imparted to it an attraction unequalled on the sen-
suous plane. This color surrounded the artists of that
sumptuous city of luxurious life and wondrous pageants,
and was so emphasized by the marvellous mingling of the
semi-mist and the brilliancy of its atmosphere that no man
who merited the name of artist could be insensible to its
The old Venetian realism was followed, in the time of
the Renaissance, by startling developments. In the
works of Tintoretto and Veronese there is a combination
of gorgeous draperies, splendid and often licentious cos-
tumes, brilliant metal accessories, and every possible de-
vice for enhancing and contrasting colors, until one is
bewildered and must adjust himself to these dazzling
spectacles â€” religious subjects though they may be â€” be-
fore any serious thought or judgment can be brought to
bear upon their artistic merit; these two g^eat contem-
poraries lived and worked in the final decades of the six-
We know that many women painted pictures in Venice
before the seventeenth century, although we have accu-
rate knowledge of but few, and of these an account is
given later in this book.
XX WOMEN IN THE FINE ARTS
We who go from Paris to London in a few hours, and
cross the St. Gothard in a day, can scarcely realize the
distance that separated these capitals from the centres of
Italian art in the time of the Renaissance. We have,
however, abundant proof that the sacred fire of the love
of Art and Letters was smouldering in France, Germany,
and England â€” and when the inspiring breath of the
Renaissance was wafted beyond the Alps a flame burst
forth which has burned clearer and brighter with succeed-
From the time of Vincent de Beauvais, who died in
1264, France had not been wanting in illustrious scholars,
but it could not be said that a French school of art existed.
Francois Clouet or Cloet, called Jehannet, was bom in
Tours about 1500. His portraits are seen in the Gallery
of the Louvre, and have been likened to those of Holbein;
but they lack the strength and spu-it of that artist; in
fact, the distinguishing feature of Clouet's work is the
remarkable finish of draperies and accessories, while the
profusion of jewels distracts attention from the heads of
The first great French artists were of the seventeenth
century, and although Clouet was painter to Francis I.
and Henry II., the former, like his predecessors, imported
artists from Italy, among whom were Leonardo da Vinci
and Benvenuto Cellini.
In letters, however, there were French women of the
sixteenth century who are still famous. Marguerite de
Valois was as cultivated in mind as she was generous and
noble in character. Her love of learning was not easily
satisfied. She was proficient in Hebrew, the classics,
and the usual branches of "profane letters," as well as an
accomplished scholar in philosophy and theology. As an
author â€” ^though her writings are somewhat voluminous
and not without merit â€” she was comparatively unimpor-