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The Ladies of the Baroque | Part 1

As in the Renaissance Period, many women among the Baroque artists came from artist families. Artemisia Gentileschi is an example of this.
She was trained by her father, Orazio Gentileschi, and she worked alongside him on many of his commissions.
Luisa Roldán was trained in her father's (Pedro Roldán) sculpture workshop.

Artemisia Gentileschi | Judith and her maid with the head of Holofernes, 1613 | Gallerie degli Uffizi, Firenze.

Women artists in this period began to change the way women were depicted in art.
Many of the women working as artists in the Baroque era were not able to train from nude models, who were always male, but they were very familiar with the female body. Women such as Elisabetta Sirani created images of women as conscious beings rather than detached muses.

One of the best examples of this novel expression is in Artemisia Gentileschi's Judith beheading Holofernes, in which Judith is depicted as a strong woman determining and avenging her own destiny.

Letizia Treves, curator at London's National Gallery 2020 Gentileschi show has commented: "you can't see it without thinking of Tassi raping Gentileschi".
The elements of the picture are "balanced with such skill they speak of a painter who prioritised virtuosity over passion".
While other artists, including Botticelli and the more traditional woman, Fede Galizia, depicted the same scene with a passive Judith, in her novel treatment, Gentileschi's Judith appears to be an able actor in the task at hand.

Action is the essence of it and another painting by her of Judith leaving the scene.
Still life emerged as an important genre around 1600, particularly in the Netherlands. Women were at the forefront of this painting trend.
This genre was particularly suited to women, as they could access the materials for still life readily.

In the North, these practitioners included Clara Peeters, a painter of banketje or breakfast pieces, and scenes of arranged luxury goods; Maria van Oosterwijk, the internationally renowned flower painter; and Rachel Ruysch, a painter of visually charged flower arrangements.
In other regions, still life was less common, but there were important women artists in the genre including Giovanna Garzoni, who created realistic vegetable arrangements on parchment, and Louise Moillon, whose fruit still life paintings were noted for their brilliant colors. | Source: © Wikipedia

Artemisia Gentileschi
Italian painter, 1593-1652

Artemisia Gentileschi is considered among the most accomplished seventeenth-century artists, initially working in the style of Caravaggio.
She was producing professional work by the age of 15.

In an era when women had few opportunities to pursue artistic training or work as professional artists, Gentileschi was the first woman to become a member of the Accademia di Arte del Disegno in Florence and she had an international clientele.

Many of Gentileschi's paintings feature women from myths, allegories, and the Bible, including victims, suicides, and warriors.
Some of her best known subjects are Susanna and the Elders (particularly the 1610 version in Pommersfelden), Judith Slaying Holofernes (her 1614-1620 version is in the Uffizi gallery), and Judith and Her Maidservant (her version of 1625 is in the Detroit Institute of Arts).

For many years Gentileschi was regarded as a curiosity, but her life and art have been reexamined by scholars in the 20th and 21st centuries.

She is now regarded as one of the most progressive and expressive painters of her generation, with the recognition of her talents exemplified by major exhibitions at internationally esteemed fine art institutions, such as the National Gallery in London.

Louise Moillon
French painter, 1610-1696

Louise Moillon was a still life painter in the Baroque era.
It is recorded that she became known as one of the best still life painters of her time, as her work was purchased by King Charles I of England, as well as French nobility.

Louise Moillon is also known for her Flemish style that is present in her artwork.
Moillon created about 40 artworks during her lifetime which are held in museums and private collections.

Mary Beale
British painter, 1633-1699

Mary Beale was an portrait painter.
She was part of a small band of female professional artists working in London.
Beale became the main financial provider for her family through her professional work - a career she maintained from 1670/71 to the 1690s.
Beale was also a writer, whose prose Discourse on Friendship of 1666 presents scholarly, uniquely female take on the subject.

Her 1663 manuscript Observations, on the materials and techniques employed "in her painting of Apricots", though not printed, is the earliest known instructional text in British written by a female painter.

Praised first as a "virtuous" practitioner in "Oyl Colours" by Sir William Sanderson in his 1658 book Graphice: Or The use of the Pen and Pensil; In the Excellent Art of PAINTING, Beale's work was later commended by court painter Sir Peter Lely and, soon after her death, by the author of "An Essay towards an English-School", his account of the most noteworthy artists of her generation.

Maria Theresa van Thielen
Flemish painter, 1640-1706
Maria van Thielen was born into an artistic patrician family.
According to Cornelis de Bie in his Het Gulden Cabinet her two sisters were painters; Houbraken says she competed with her sisters Anna Maria and Francoise Katharina and was very successful.
The sister Anna may well have been her aunt Anna, however, who married the painter Theodoor Rombouts.

The three women learned flower painting from their father, Jan Philip van Thielen.
Maria's work is in the same style as her father, and probably much of her work has been attributed to him.
She signed her works M.T.Van Thielen.F.

She painted two flower pieces in her father's style for the city hall of Mechelen, one of which is signed and dated 1664.
She became a master in the Antwerp guild of St. Luke in 1665.

Katharina Pepijn
Flemish painter, 1619-1688)

Katharina Pepijn or Catharina Pepijn was known for her history paintings and portraits.
Her portraits are in the style of Rubens and van Dyck.

Catharina Peeters
Flemish painter 1615–1676

Catharina Peeters was the sister of Bonaventuur Peeters, Jan Peeters I, and Gillis Peeters.
They were all Flemish Baroque painters noted for painting seascapes.

Few details of her life are known.
According to the RKD, she was taught to paint by her brothers.
She is mentioned in Cornelis de Bie's book on painters in his chapter on noteworthy female painters.

She is mentioned in Van der Aa as a fruit painter who was possibly the same person as Clara Peeters.
Whether the two women were related is unknown.

Johanna Vergouwen
Flemish painter, 1630-1714.

Johanna Vergouwen (also: Jeanne Vergouwen or Joanna Vergouwen) was a Baroque painter and copyist.
She was brought up in a family of painters.
She was the daughter of the Flemish painter-decorator Louis Vergouwen (died 1659) and his wife Maaike Verwerff, who was the daughter of the painter Hans Verwerff.
Her sister Maria (died 1664) married the painter Michael Angelo Immenraet in 1661.

Immenraet and Joanna Vergouwen engaged in extensive litigation regarding her sister's inheritance.
She studied with Balthazar van den Bossche and Lucas van Uden.

She was active as a painter, copyist and art dealer.
The 17th century Flemish biographer Cornelis de Bie refers to her in his Het Gulden Cabinet in the chapter on noteworthy female painters. He describes her as a copyist of Anthony van Dyck and Rubens.

Ginevra Cantofoli | Woman in a Turban, 1650 | Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica di Palazzo Barberini, Roma.

Ginevra Cantofoli
Italian painter, 1618-1672

Orsola Maddalena Caccia
Italian painter, 1596-1676

Michaelina Wautier
Flemish painter, 1604-1689

Giovanna Garzoni

Italian painter, 1600–1670

Judith Leyster
Dutch Golden Age painter, 1609-1660

Maria Sibylla Merian
German illustrator, 1647-1717

Josefa de Óbidos
Spanish-born Portuguese painter, 1630-1684

Maria van Oosterwijk
Dutch Golden Age painter, 1630-1693