Cover image for Women Artists, Their Patrons, and Their Publics in Early Modern Bologna By Babette Bohn

Women Artists, Their Patrons, and Their Publics in Early Modern Bologna

Babette Bohn

COMING IN MARCH

$74.95 | Hardcover Edition
ISBN: 978-0-271-08696-5
Coming in March

332 pages
9" × 10"
81 color/60 b&w illustrations
2021

Women Artists, Their Patrons, and Their Publics in Early Modern Bologna

Babette Bohn

“This book is a monumental contribution to a rapidly growing body of studies on pioneering women artists. It will galvanize this field with fresh topics of discussion and a rich harvest of new archival findings.”

 

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This groundbreaking book seeks to explain why women artists were far more numerous, diverse, and successful in early modern Bologna than elsewhere in Italy. They worked as painters, sculptors, printmakers, and embroiderers; many obtained public commissions and expanded beyond the portrait subjects to which women were traditionally confined. Babette Bohn asks why that was the case in this particular place and at this particular time.

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.

“This book is a monumental contribution to a rapidly growing body of studies on pioneering women artists. It will galvanize this field with fresh topics of discussion and a rich harvest of new archival findings.”
“This important study by Babette Bohn, a seasoned art historian and expert on early modern Bologna, presents a comprehensive, in-depth picture of ‘the Bolognese phenomenon,’ i.e., the unusual surge of successful women artists in that Renaissance city. Bohn’s book will be a valuable resource for scholars and students of art history and gender studies, and it is likely to become a methodological model for the study of women artists in other Renaissance cities.”

Babette Bohn is Professor of Art History and Affiliate Faculty in Women and Gender Studies at Texas Christian University. She is the author of Le “Stanze” di Guido Reni: Disegni del maestro e della scuola and Ludovico Carracci and the Art of Drawing and coauthor of Federico Barroci: Renaissance Master of Color and Line.