Learn more about the 20 female artists featured in the Women In Art Memory Game!
Sofonisba Anguissola (c. 1532 – 16 November 1625), was an Italian Renaissance painter born in Cremona to a relatively poor noble family.
Her most distinctive and attractive paintings are her portraits of herself and her family, which she painted before she moved to the Spanish court. In particular, her depictions of children were fresh and closely observed.
Rosa Bonheur, born Marie-Rosalie Bonheur (16 March 1822 – 25 May 1899), was a French artist, mostly a painter of animals (animalière) but also a sculptor, in a realist style. Her best-known paintings is Ploughing in the Nivernais, first exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1848, and now at the Musée d'Orsay in Paris.
Bonheur was widely considered to be the most famous female painter of the nineteenth century.
Marie Bracquemond (1 December 1840 – 17 January 1916) was a French Impressionist artist, who was described retrospectively by Henri Focillon in 1928 as one of "les trois grandes dames" of Impressionism alongside Berthe Morisot and Mary Cassatt.
Her frequent omission from books on artists is sometimes attributed to the efforts of her husband, Félix Bracquemond.
Rosalba Carriera (12 January 1673 – 15 April 1757) was a Venetian Rococo painter. In her younger years, she specialized in portrait miniatures. It is for this that she was able to build a career in portraiture. Carriera would later become known for her pastel work, a medium appealing to Rococo styles for its soft edges and flattering surfaces.
She is remembered as one of the most successful women artists of any era.
Mary Stevenson Cassatt (May 22, 1844 – June 14, 1926) was an American painter and printmaker. She was born in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania (now part of Pittsburgh's North Side), but lived much of her adult life in France, where she first befriended Edgar Degas and later exhibited among the Impressionists.
Cassatt often created images of the social and private lives of women, with particular emphasis on the intimate bonds between mothers and children.
TAMARA DE LEMPICKA
Tamara Lempicka (16 May 1898 – 18 March 1980) was a Polish painter who spent her working life in France and the United States.
She is best known for her polished Art Deco portraits of aristocrats and the wealthy, and for her highly stylized paintings of nudes.
EVELYN DE MORGAN
Evelyn De Morgan (30 August 1855 – 2 May 1919), née Pickering, was an English painter associated early in her career with the later phase of the Pre-Raphaelite Movement.
Her paintings are figural, foregrounding the female body through the use of spiritual, mythological, and allegorical themes. They rely on a range of metaphors (such as light and darkness, transformation, and bondage) to express what several scholars have identified as spiritualist and feminist content. She boycotted the Royal Academy and signed the Declaration in Favour of Women's Suffrage in 1889.
Lavinia Fontana (August 24, 1552 – August 11, 1614) was a Bolognese Mannerist painter best known for her portraiture. She was trained by her father Prospero Fontana and was active in Bologna and Rome. She is regarded as the first female career artist in Western Europe as she relied on commissions for her income.
Her family relied on her career as a painter, and her husband served as her agent and raised their eleven children.
She was perhaps the first woman artist to paint female nudes, but this is a topic of controversy among art historians.
Artemisia Gentileschi (July 8, 1593 – c. 1656) was an Italian Baroque painter, now considered one of the most accomplished seventeenth-century artists working in the dramatic style of Caravaggio. In an era when women had few opportunities to pursue artistic training or work as professional artists, Artemisia was the first woman to become a member of the Accademia di Arte del Disegno in Florence and had an international clientele.
Artemisia specialized in scenes of female heroines and stories centered on women from myths, allegories, and the Bible, including victims, suicides, and warriors.
Frida Kahlo (born Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderón; 6 July 1907 – 13 July 1954) was a Mexican painter known for her many portraits, self-portraits, and works inspired by the nature and artifacts of Mexico. Inspired by the country's popular culture, she employed a naïve folk art style to explore questions of identity, postcolonialism, gender, class, and race in Mexican society. Her paintings often had strong autobiographical elements and mixed realism with fantasy.
Kahlo's work as an artist remained relatively unknown until the late 1970s, when her work was rediscovered by art historians and political activists. By the early 1990s, she had become not only a recognized figure in art history, but also regarded as an icon for Chicanos, the feminism movement and the LGBTQ+ movement. Kahlo's work has been celebrated internationally as emblematic of Mexican national and indigenous traditions and by feminists for what is seen as its uncompromising depiction of the female experience and form.
Angelica Kauffmann (30 October 1741 – 5 November 1807) was a Swiss Neoclassical painter who had a successful career in London and Rome. Remembered primarily as a history painter, Kauffmann was a skilled portraitist, landscape and decoration painter. She was one of the two female founding members of the Royal Academy in London in 1768.
Adélaïde Labille-Guiard (11 April 1749 – 24 April 1803) was a French miniaturist and portrait painter. She was an advocate for women to receive the same opportunities as men to become great painters.
Labille-Guiard was one of the first women to become a member of the Royal Academy and was the first female artist to receive permission to set up a studio for her students at the Louvre.
Judith Jans Leyster (c. July 28, 1609 – February 10, 1660) was a Dutch Golden Age painter. She painted genre works, portraits and still lifes. Although her work was highly regarded by her contemporaries, Leyster and her work became almost forgotten after her death.
Her entire oeuvre was attributed to Frans Hals or to her husband, Jan Miense Molenaer, until 1893.
Berthe Morisot (January 14, 1841 – March 2, 1895) was a painter and a member of the circle of painters in Paris who became known as the Impressionists.
In 1864, Morisot exhibited for the first time in the highly esteemed Salon de Paris. Sponsored by the government and judged by Academicians, the Salon was the official, annual exhibition of the Académie des beaux-arts in Paris. Her work was selected for exhibition in six subsequent Salons until, in 1874, she joined the "rejected" Impressionists in the first of their own exhibitions, which included Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Alfred Sisley.
Morisot was married to Eugène Manet, the brother of her friend and colleague Édouard Manet.
SARAH MIRIAM PEALE
Sarah Miriam Peale (May 19, 1800 – February 4, 1885) was an American portrait painter, considered the first American woman to succeed as a professional artist.
One of a family of artists of whom her uncle Charles Willson Peale was the most illustrious, Sarah Peale painted portraits mainly of Maryland, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. notables, politicians, and military figures. Lafayette sat for her four times.
Clara Peeters (active 1607–1621) was a Flemish still-life painter from Antwerp who worked in both the Spanish Netherlands and Dutch Republic.
Peeters is the best-known female Flemish artist of this era and one of the few women artists working professionally in seventeenth-century Europe, despite restrictions on women's access to artistic training and membership in guilds. Peeters specialized in still-life paintings with food and was prominent among the artists who shaped the traditions of the Netherlandish ontbijtjes, "breakfast pieces," scenes of food and simple vessels, and banketjes, "banquet pieces" with expensive cups and vessels in precious metals.
Rachel Ruysch (3 June 1664 – Amsterdam, 12 October 1750) was a still-life painter from the Northern Netherlands. She specialized in flowers, inventing her own style and achieving international fame in her lifetime.
Due to a long and successful career that spanned over six decades, she became the best documented woman painter of the Dutch Golden Age, being followed by Jan van Huysum, who took flower painting to another degree of popularity.
Suzanne Valadon (23 September 1865 – 7 April 1938) was a French painter and artists' model who was born at Bessines-sur-Gartempe, Haute-Vienne, France. In 1894, Valadon became the first woman painter admitted to the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts. She was also the mother of painter Maurice Utrillo.
Valadon spent nearly 40 years of her life as an artist. The subjects of her drawings and paintings included mostly female nudes, female portraits, still lifes, and landscapes. She never attended the academy and was never confined within a tradition.
Anne Vallayer-Coster (21 December 1744 – 28 February 1818) was an 18th-century French painter best known for still lifes. She achieved fame and recognition very early in her career, being admitted to the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture in 1770, at the age of twenty-six.
Despite the low status that still life painting had at this time, Vallayer-Coster’s highly developed skills, especially in the depiction of flowers, soon generated a great deal of attention from collectors and other artists.
ELIZABETH LOUISE VIGÉE LE BRUN
Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun (16 April 1755 – 30 March 1842) was a prominent French portrait painter of the late 18th century.
Her artistic style is generally considered part of the aftermath of Rococo with elements of an adopted Neoclassical style. Her subject matter and color palette can be classified as Rococo, but her style is aligned with the emergence of Neoclassicism. Vigée Le Brun created a name for herself in Ancien Régime society by serving as the portrait painter to Marie Antoinette. She enjoyed the patronage of European aristocrats, actors, and writers, and was elected to art academies in ten cities.