The Father of Art History: Giorgio Vasari

Anyone who has studied Renaissance art history can’t escape one name: Giorgio Vasari. Often described as a “father” of art history, Vasari is best known for his Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects. This text, a foundation text of art history, is also the keystone of much of our knowledge (and misinformation!)Continue reading “The Father of Art History: Giorgio Vasari”

Museum Workers Unite!

In the wake of a difficult year for museums around the world along with numerous stories of toxic work environments at major museums, museum workers are coming together to advocate for their rights as workers. Over the past year, three major US museums have seen a push for worker unionization; the Guggenheim, the Whitney, andContinue reading “Museum Workers Unite!”

Judith Leyster, A Great Woman Artist?: Leyster’s Self-Portrait (1630-33) and The Influence of Feminist Scholarship

Judith Leyster is the most discussed female painter from the Dutch Baroque period, her Self-Portrait considered one of Leyster’s most prominent works due to its technical skill and content. However, Leyster’s Self-Portrait was not always considered a self-portrait. Following Leyster’s death in 1660, the work was misattributed to Frans Hals for over three centuries untilContinue reading “Judith Leyster, A Great Woman Artist?: Leyster’s Self-Portrait (1630-33) and The Influence of Feminist Scholarship”

The Queen’s Game: Sofonisba Anguissola’s “The Chess Game”

Previous scholarship on the portraits of Sofonisba Anguissola focused primarily on the way the artist depicted herself and the influence of her education on her portraits. Throughout the scholarship on Sofonisba, little attention has been given to one of the most important subjects of her early career; her family. Anguissola depicted her family on severalContinue reading “The Queen’s Game: Sofonisba Anguissola’s “The Chess Game””

“La Tintoretta:” Searching for Marietta Robusti

Little is known about Marietta Robusti, the daughter of infamous artist Tintoretto. Only one self-portrait is attributed to her, but is the woman in the painting actually Marietta?

The Heart of Renaissance Art: ‘Paragone’

In academic circles, a word that is inescapable when discussing Renaissance art is paragone. Paragone translated from Italian, generally means “comparison” and this theme of comparison was the backbone for much of the Italian Renaissance. Paragone was a major topic of debate during the early modern period, pitting artists, philosophers, and humanists against one anotherContinue reading “The Heart of Renaissance Art: ‘Paragone’”

Sofonisba Anguissola and the Ideal Female Courtier

    Italian painter Sofonisba Anguissola has received significant scholarly attention for her vast array of self-portraits. As one of the earliest professional artists to create a significant number of portraits of herself, scholars have looked to her works as a way to understand how this remarkable young noblewoman created such a successful career for herself.Continue reading “Sofonisba Anguissola and the Ideal Female Courtier”

Reframing History: Sister Plautilla Nelli

Sister Plautilla Nelli (1524-1588) was a self-taught artist and is often considered the first known woman artist of Florence. She was a nun in the Dominican convent of St. Catherine of Siena, where she was heavily influenced by the teachings of Dominican friar and avid preacher Savonarola. Savonarola advocated for devotional paintings and encouraged womanContinue reading “Reframing History: Sister Plautilla Nelli”

Pomp and Circumstance: The Book of Hours of Mary of Burgundy

The Dukes of Burgundy had a long history of arts patronage that aided in shaping a powerful reputation for the dukedom. Flemish artists were brought to the court to create works for the members of the ducal family for generations and the influence of Flemish artists coming into France led to many artistic innovations. TheContinue reading “Pomp and Circumstance: The Book of Hours of Mary of Burgundy”

Reframing History: Chen Shu 陳書

Chen Shu (1660-1735) was born into an elite family in Jiaxing, China and was the daughter of an artist. This allowed her to study painting as a young girl, despite the mixed feelings about women’s education at the time that kept only a few women of the elite from pursuing an education. Chen Shu studiedContinue reading “Reframing History: Chen Shu 陳書”