During Jane Austen’s lifetime, it was much more difficult for a woman to become an artist than a writer. Women were largely excluded from the institutions of the art world, but a few nevertheless succeeded in making a career and a name for themselves. This talk will consider the life and work of a number of these women, including Angelica Kauffman, who became a founder member of the Royal Academy, but will focus particularly on the French painter, Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun, who recently became the first historical woman artist to have her work celebrated in a major art exhibition in Paris, and in New York.
Emma Barker is Senior Lecturer in Art History at the Open University. She is s author of Greuze and the Painting of Sentiment (Cambridge, 2005) and the editor of Art and Visual Culture 1600-1850: Academy to Avant-Garde (Tate, 2012). Her other publications include ‘Women artists and the French Academy: Vigée-Lebrun in the 1780s’, in Gender and Art, ed. Gill Perry, Open University/Yale University Press, 1999.
Image credit: Comtesse de la Châtre (Marie Charlotte Louise Perrette Aglaé Bontemps, 1762–1848) Artist: Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun (French, Paris 1755–1842 Paris) Date: 1789 Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Tickets: £11; Students/Friends £8.50 (includes drinks and canapés)