Drawing on extensive archival research, Bohn investigates an astonishing sixty-eight women artists, including Elisabetta Sirani and Lavinia Fontana. The book identifies and explores the factors that facilitated their success, including local biographers who celebrated women artists in new ways, an unusually diverse system of artistic patronage that included citizens from all classes, the impact of Bologna’s venerable university, an abundance of women writers, and the frequency of self-portraits and signed paintings by many women artists. In tracing the evolution of Bologna’s female artists from nun-painters to working professionals, Bohn proposes new attributions and interpretations of their works, some of which are reproduced here for the first time.
Featuring original methodological models, innovative and historically grounded insights, and new documentation, this book will be a crucial resource for art historians, historians, and women’s studies scholars and students.
Hardcover, 332 pages