I am beginning for 10 weeks a small program about THE ART OF WOMEN.
And I heard about Giorgio Vasari that I knew as being the creator of art critic.
What I did not know was his presentation of female artists. And I became aware of how the status of artist continue to influence our contemporary perception.
Image : Mixmedia artwork by Nadia NADEGE, Studio Inspirigo Copyright Nadia NADEGE
From Wikipedia : Giorgio Vasari (Italian: [ˈdʒordʒo vaˈzaːri]; 30 July 1511 – 27 June 1574) was an Italian painter, architect, writer, and historian, most famous today for his Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects, considered the ideological foundation of art-historical writing.
Among more than 200 portraits of artists that he wrote to constitute his first art history, he wrote aboute 13 women.
Definition of a (good) female artist
But it’s hilarious (preferable to laugh about it, instead of being sad or angry) how he describes what must be a good woman artist. She must be gracious and beautiful, creates something different than male artists, just paint in small sizes, choose feminine subjects and definitely will never access to ingenio which means talent because it is possible just for men…
The status of the artist
More than that, Vasari wanted to see artist status and fine arts to be acknowledge as different from art craft and mechanical art… so he decreed that being a TRUE artist is never address money and make commercial act and only work by commission… It was 16th century and we can say that today in 21th century we continue to hear tant « being an artist is not speaking about selling art » Wow !!!
Another opinion here : http://albertis-window.blogspot.ca/2009/12/vasari-and-female-artists.html