Renaissance artists Sofonisba Anguissola and Italian Baroque artist Artemisia Gentileschi focused more on chiaroscuro where Northern Europe artists Judith Leyster and Rachel Ruysch focused more on vibrant colors and expressing their painting more openly. Although these women still struggled; some artist had it easier to find work much easier than the other others. Their paintings might have had different arrangements they still made sure to catch the attention of the viewer to the main focus that artist wanted them to see. Whether they were looking at flowers or a self-portrait of a certain painter they made sure to put very much detail in the workpieces to show the different style of painting each artist possessed. History shows us that the women had a lot of difficulties trying to start there painting but some of them had much easier access than others or more freedom. It shows us that even today we have to work ten times harder in order to get the credit we deserve.
Rachel Ruysch also painted still life flowers in her career. Her father was a professor of anatomy and botany and her mother being in architect instilled her to focus on every little detail. Her father also worked with rare specimens while Rachel helped him catalog his discoveries which help her by painting insects with such fine detail. Flowers Still Life shows very fine detail to the whole bouquet of flowers. Has different arrangements of flowers and colors with the background going from dark on the top and moving down to a lighter background. She shows fine detail to every stem of a flower to the pedals with the vines of the branches all around the bouquet. According to the video Fruit with Insects by Rachel, it showed a color harmony were every single color complemented each other. For instance, the green grapes on one side and red grapes on the other was a good contrast of color harmony. Ruysch was able to paint such a vivid painting by including the insects and the dust around the fruit.
Artist in the Dutch Republic had more freedom and a huge market for painting according to the lecture. Judith Leyster painted a self-portrait as her presentation piece for the guild. This portrait was different then Sofonisba and Artemisia by showing more vibrant colors in her painting and having the viewer focus not just on her but on her background as well. She made it known viewer was looking at her by her having to turn sideways and having her arm leaning on the chair while also smiling. Leyster also painted genre scene in her self-portrait of a man playing the violin who also has vibrant colors, so the viewer can focus on that as well. Leyster did not just paint genre scene but also painted flowers. Yellow-Red of Leiden painting was a still painting of tulip that the Dutch were captivated with, which paintings of tulip ended up selling for such a high price that caused the first market crash. The painting showed such vibrant colors with a light brown background for the tulips to catch the viewers eye. With white on the rose to give it realistic view with the leaves having shade in some area to further enrich the color.
Artemisia Gentileschi was alike to Sofonisba on her styles of painting by using chiaroscuro in her paintings but also including allegory of painting like her self-portrait as the Allegory of Painting. In her painting, she showed many different approaches by having her break away from the usual self-portrait by painting herself in a pose that was hard to paint. The painting also showed gold chain with a pendant mask standing for imitation as discussed in the lecture. The painting also had a gloomy background with Artemesia contrasting it with a well-lit tone in order for the viewer to focus on her. Judith Slaying Holofernes was another one of her works that showed chiaroscuro style of painting, however, was able to be distinctive in its painting by also show casting women who had strong arms that were fully capable of committing the crime. Showing Judith cutting off his head of Holofernes while having the servant help her hold him down which they are painted in a lighter tone while the whole background is shadowy for the viewer to pay attention to the act that is being committed, showing that she is capable of such a strong act. Representing that women are strong and independent and are not as fragile as men think they are, as well as showing that men do not give them enough credit.
Sofonisba Anguissola was a very accomplished artist. As shown in the lecture she was invited to the court of Spain as the lady in waiting for Spain and although her work was excellent due to her status she was unable to sell any of her work.; Anguissola was not to partake in any financial transactions or anyone in her position as a noblewoman but was still able to continue to paint because of her status in life. Sofonisba self-portrait at the Easel Painting a Devotional Panel showed chiaroscuro just like her Bernardino Campi Painting Sofonisba Anguissola. Both paintings showed a light contrast with a dark background. Having herself be the light contrast to make sure that the viewers’ attention is to her and not the background. Having her be the focus and enlarging her self as to claim that she has exceeded everyone who has taught her yet still making sure that she is dressed in modest clothing for example in her painting of Bernardino Campi painting Sofonisba self-portrait. Sofonisba paintings made sure that they came off as modest, honorable and pure because that how they were seen as in the Renaissance.
There have been many influential artists throughout history but a lot of them have been women who have not been given the credit when they deserve it until this day and age. Women who struggle to make a living due to men taking away their right to work and downgrading them because they are women. Limiting the artist of teachings and establishing a career because of who they are not because of their work. Yet, that did not stop women from painting and doing what they always wanted. Renaissance artists Sofonisba Anguissola and Italian Baroque artist Artemisia Gentileschi took the route of light and dark contrast compared to Northern Europe artists Judith Leyster and Rachel Ruysch where they took a more lively approach to their paintings; although these women still struggle somewhere able to find work much easier than the other artists.
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