The women artists that we can find throughout history go almost unnoticed. As in other museums, in the Prado Museum in Madrid the exhibited paintings painted by women are few, despite having many in the warehouses.
The few investigations carried out and the low price that has been made of the paintings painted by women after their death have caused them to have almost disappeared. But a new current is putting them in valuethe Prado Museum has already joined this current.
Being a woman and a painter
To be a woman and artist has never been easy. And, despite the fact that new research is making discoveries that are helping to revalue the role of women in the history of art, there is still a long way to go.
Thus, many of the paintings that we can see today in museums, palaces or churches have a woman as the author. Nevertheless, her works have been hidden behind the signature of her husband, her father or even another artist who had nothing to do with them.
This has caused many of the paintings that great women painted to be blurred in history. And also that there are few that we can find exhibited in museums under the real name of the author of it.
Although they are few, in the case of the Prado Museum, the works on display give us an idea of the great artists with which the history of painting has told. And here we talk about some of them and the paintings on display in the rooms of the museum. Will you join us on our walk?
The women artists in the rooms of this museum
Strolling through the rooms of this Madrid museum we can see great masterpieces of the styles that have been cultivated during the different periods. and between them we find some paintings of the most recognized painters in the world, such as Sofonisba Anguissola, Clara Peeters or Artemisia Gentileschi.
Many others are not exposed and it is estimated that there are paintings by at least 30 women painters in the museum’s deposits. And why are there so few female representatives? Basically because this museum has mostly settled on the royal collections.
So, if you were a woman and you were not linked to the Court, your paintings were not the most requested. In fact, the paintings on display belong to artists who were brought to the Spanish Court to be the drawing teachers of the infantas. And taking advantage of this situation, they made portraits, still lifes or historical themes that later remained in the royal collection.
A painter of Italian origin, she is one of the women artists that can be found in the Prado Museum. She arrived at the Court of Felipe II when she was 27 years old to be a painting teacher for Isabel de Valois, the king’s third daughter. For fifteen years, Ella Sofonisba, in addition to teaching painting, He made some of the most beautiful portraits that are preserved today.
Among them the paintings in which he portrayed the family of Felipe II stand out. We talk about Portrait of Elizabeth of Valois holding the portrait of Philip II, from 1561-1565; of Portrait of Queen Anne of Austria, from 1573; and of Picture of Philip IIalso from 1573.
She is a Flemish painter whose works focus on the theme of still life and still life. They are mainly characterized by the inclusion of metal, glass or ceramic objects in which she normally portrayed herself, perhaps to vindicate her authorship in a world dominated by men.
In the Prado Museum there are four paintings by Peeters and they are all on display. They are still lifes in which the realism with which she portrays animals, plants, objects stands out… And her mastery is such that Clara Peeters She has been the first woman to whom the Prado Museum has dedicated an individual exhibition.
She is one of the painters whose paintings radiate more strength. Probably due to tragic events that he suffered in his life. Of Italian origin, she was the daughter of the painter Orazio Gentileschi. Her art is very Caravaggio style, as we can see in her painting Susanna and the old mendated in 1610 and that he made when he was only 16 years old.
In the Prado Museum we can find exposed his painting The Birth of Saint John the Baptistdated 1635. It is a painting that was part of a series of paintings commissioned in Naples and destined for the Palacio del Buen Retiro in Madrid.