Broad Strokes

My cousin Amy and I both had interest in reading the book Broad Strokes: 15 Women Who Made Art and Made History (In That Order), by Bridget Quinn.  Amy got around to reading it before me which is usually the case.  She told me she really enjoyed it and I decided to read it sooner rather than later.  

I am a little more than halfway through the book and I am really loving the stories of these women and their art.  The featured paintings for three of the artists are located at the Met!  This weekend Jeff and I went to go see them and I shared with him what I had learned.

The first painting is called Self Portrait with Two Pupils, Mademoiselle Marie Gabrielle Capet and Mademoiselle Carreaux de Rosemond. Kind of a mouthful. It was painted by Adelaide Labille-Guiard.  She was admitted to the Royal Academy out of spite, when Marie Antoinette forced them to admit a female artist of her choosing.  As a result, the Royal Academy placed a quota on the number of female painters admitted.  This painting was featured in the next salon and considered a slap in the face to the Royal Academy for their quota. 

This painting is called Portrait of Charlotte du Val d'Ognes, by Marie Denise Villers.  This is my favorite painting of the three.  This painting was believed to be painted by Jaques Louis David.  It was later discovered that this painting had been in the official Salon of 1801, which Jaques Louis David did not participate in.  

When it was revealed that the painting had been painted by a woman, the scholars who had been deceived before claimed that it made more sense that this was painted by a woman because it contained errors that David simply would not make.  Picture me rolling my eyes right now.

Further research of this painting by Ann Higgonet, showed that Marie Denise Villers shared a studio at the Louvre with another female artist Charlotte du Val d'Ognes, the subject of this painting.  

This third painting is called Horse Fair, by Rosa Bonheur. Rosa had a passion for painting animals and America.  Here she purposely paints the horses much larger than the men trying to control them.  Paintings like this tended to show the man greater in size. The man being the master.  Rosa wanted to show that the horse could not be mastered.  This painting is believed to be a secret self portrait because there is one man without facial hair that looks at the audience. 

Some of the artists in this book that I have yet to read have featured paintings at MOMA.  I am hoping to be able to do the same with those if they are currently on display.  

Thanks for reading!