The Easel

Archives: Oliver Tostmann

21st December 2021

By Her Hand: Personal Thoughts and Reflections on an Exhibition

A new book about early art history shows how including female artists enriches the story. Up to about 1800, women artists were not as rare as is often thought. However, one has to look in different places to find their output – more miniature portraits, few grand “history” paintings. Their output was somewhat more sporadic as they toggled between part time and full time painting. Artemisia Gentilischi is the star of a current exhibition but the whole lineage, says one critic, calls for a re-think of what it means to be great.