Feminism gave women and men a choice.

I am happy to say that there are more people like me out there. People that believe the word Feminist or Feminism doesn’t refer to an evil female incarnation of the devil. This I thought with relief after reading a post an artist friend posted on Facebook.

Citizen Kerry, Thank You. And Ann, thanks for always being an Inspiration.

My Mother, now in her seventies will die before she sees herself as a feminist, but she was working most of her life and she never stayed quiet if she disagreed with my father.

I love the grace and strength that the Austrian Feminist Marie Lang shows in the picture on the right. Lace and Brocade, leather and velvet.

I want to continue the study of Chadwick’s “Women, Art and, Society.” The Last time I wrote about it, I looked at the how the way Art History was written, played an important role on how women in History was and are still perceived by most people. Today I want to look at what Chadwick says about Marietta Robusti.

Marietta Robusti was the eldest daughter of the painter Tintoretto, She and two of her brothers joined Tintoretto’s workshop and she work for him about 15 years. She was not without talent, a fact that are reinforced by an invitation from Emperor Maximilian II and  another separate invitation by Phillip II pf Spain to join them as court painter. Unfortunately for Robusti her father forbade her to leave and instead found her a husband. She married the head of the Silversmith’s guide and to my horror died in childbirth four years later.

Because she worked in a workshop it is difficult to learn authorship of any of her work. There are accounts of a daughter in Tintoretto’s workshop whose work was of equal quality of that of Tintoretto, but Tintoretto’s Biographer described her work of lesser value with a “sentimental femininity”(p.19). Until 1920 “Portrait of and Old Man with Boy” c.1585 fell under the authorship of Tintoretto.and finally Robusti’s monogram was found on this painting. This attribution of the painting to Robusti is still questioned. As is most of the attributions to her as an artist.

Of Course Marietta Robusti also becomes the muse for her father when painters like Cogniet paint her in “Tintoretto Painting His Dead Daughter,” which then lead to more paintings and even a play and a novel where Robusti played the muse.

Tintoretto am totenbett seiner tochter
Image via Wikipedia

Why is the “muse image” bad?

Chadwick describe it like this:”The bizarre but all too common transformation of the woman artist from a producer in her own right into a subject for representation forms a leitmotif in the history of art. Confounding subject and object, it undermines the speaking position of the individual woman artist by generalizing her. Denied her individuality, she is displaced from being a producer and becomes instead a sign for male creativity.”(p21)

I love the word “displace”. To me this displacement not only moves the female to an uncomfortable position but also the male. Limiting both genders to predetermined roles.

OK I have to stop here since its nearly time to pick up my little girl from school, plus I have an illustrating project I have to finish by next Friday…

Talk again


“Feminism gave women and men a choice”

and that’s what its all about.


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