Five iconic women artists of all time. The history of art is dotted with the names of great people – Leonardo da Vinci, Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso and others. But what about the women who helped shape the world”s artistic culture? As in many other fields, women have historically been reluctant to pursue careers in art, they are all pioneers in their own right, as they have managed to overcome barriers in personal and social life. We”ll talk about five incredible female artists in this article.
Five iconic women artists of all time: Elisabeth Louise Vigee Lebrun
Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun (fr. Élisabeth-Louise Vigée-Le Brun; 1755-1842) – completely self-taught, became an artist despite the conservative obstacles of the time. Interestingly, it developed and was active during one of the most turbulent periods in European history. Through the intervention of the influential Marie-Antoinette, the young artist was admitted to the French Academy at the age of 28 as one of four women members of the organization.
Vigee Le Brenne was especially praised for her pretty portraits of aristocratic women, which were considered more natural and realistic than the work of her male counterparts. Forced to flee Paris during the revolution, Lebrun traveled throughout Europe, remaining committed to his profession. She managed to get impressive orders in Florence, Naples, Vienna, St. Petersburg and Berlin. As soon as the political situation in France was settled, Lebrun returned to her homeland. Famous women artists. Self-portrait by Vigee Lebrun in a straw hat (1782) and the work “Madame Grand” (1783)
Hilma af Klint Hilma af Klint
(Swedish Hilma af Klint; 1862-1944) – the next heroine on our list is of Swedish origin. She was born in 1862 in the city of Solna and was the fourth of five children of the Protestant couple Matilda af Klint and Victor af Klint, a mathematician and admiral. She spent most of her childhood within the walls of the naval academy, where her father worked. In the summer, the family moved to Adelso, an island on Lake Malaren. Where Hilma”s fascination with nature and organic life began.
1907 It is still unknown how, but this artist managed to keep 1000 of her paintings a secret for many years. Her secret has become truly her charm! The subtle yet powerful art of Hilma af Klint quietly conveys a powerful and powerful message. Just think: she created abstract canvases 5 years before the first, written by Wassily Kandinsky. Experimenting with the surrealist decades before this trend emerged! This woman was a pioneer. Af Klint, described as a mystic and medium, performed seances and communicated with spirits.
According to rumors, she even received a special message from higher powers to create the most iconic works – the “Temple” cycle. She was a passionate botanist, well versed in the natural sciences and world religions. With unsurpassed wisdom and anticipation of human stupidity, af Klint not only stated that her work should not be shown for 20 years after her death. But also made a condition that her work should only be sold together (otherwise they could be misinterpreted).
Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986) – one of the most significant artists of the twentieth century, known for her contribution to contemporary art. She was born on November 15, 1887, and was the second of seven children. She grew up on a farm near Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. By the time she graduated from high school in 1905, O”Keeffe had decided to become an artist. She studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Art Students League in New York, where she studied traditional painting.
Datura 1936 Her artistic direction changed dramatically 4 years later when she explored the revolutionary ideas of Arthur Wesley Doe. Doe offered O”Keeffe an alternative to the established notions of art. She experimented with abstraction for 2 years while teaching art in West Texas. O”Keeffe sent some of these abstract drawings to a friend in New York, who in turn showed them to Alfred Stieglitz, an art dealer and renowned photographer who would eventually become O”Keeffe”s husband. Stieglitz first exhibited her work in 1916. By the mid-1920s, O”Keeffe was recognized as one of the most important and successful artists in America, who gained popularity thanks to her paintings of New York skyscrapers – in essence the American symbol of modernity.
Frida Kahlo (Spanish Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo Calderón; 1907-1954) – the most famous Mexican artist was born in Coyoacan on July 6, 1907 in the house of her parents, known as La Casa Azul (translated as “Blue House”). It was not only the home where Kahlo spent her childhood, but also the place where she returned to live and work from 1939 until her death. It later became the Frida Kahlo Museum.
Frida”s father was born in Pforzheim, Germany. By the way, he was also a creative person (the son of an artist and a jeweler). Kahlo claimed that her father was of Jewish and Hungarian descent, but a 2005 book on Guillermo Kahlo says he came from a long line of German Lutherans. Wilhelm Kahlo sailed to Mexico in 1891 at the age of 19 and upon arrival changed his German name Wilhelm to its Spanish equivalent “Guillermo”.
In the late 1930s, in the face of the rise of Nazism in Germany, Frida recognized and defended her German ancestry, drawing attention to her name Frieda (a reference to “Frieden”, which means “peace” in German). Famous women artists. Frida Kahlo. The Two Fridas (1939) Kahlo”s mother, Matilda Calderon y Gonzalez, was of mixed Spanish and Indian descent, and she raised Frida and her three sisters in austerity and religiosity.
The Mexican Revolution began in 1910 when Kahlo was 3 years old. In her notes, Frida recalled that her mother often cooked food for hungry revolutionaries. Kahlo went through a traumatic and scary experience in a German school where she was sexually abused and forced to leave. Fortunately, the Mexican revolution changed educational policy at that time, and from 1922 girls were admitted to the National Preparatory School (Preparatoria). Kahlo was one of the first 35 girls to enter.
At school, she began studying medicine, botany and social sciences. At the age of 18, Frida had a tragic accident. The consequences were severe, the spinal cord was damaged. It was at this moment, after being immobilized for several months, that Frida began to paint. Kahlo”s biography has spawned many books, and even an Oscar-winning film. The inimitable fashion, Frida”s famous monobrow and the unhappy marriage with Diego Rivera, a man 21 years older, added even more intrigue. The Mexican canvases themselves are deeply personal and symbolically reflect the motives of her real life.
Shirin Neshat – one of the iconic women artists
Shirin Neshat (born 1957) is an Iranian artist living in New York. She is also known for her popular work in film, video and photography. Shirin Neshat is the fourth of five children who grew up in a wealthy Iranian family in the town of Qazvin in northwestern Iran. The artist recalled her childhood in the following way. I grew up in a very warm, favorable Muslim environment, where I learned traditional religious values”. Neshat”s father was a doctor, and his mother was a housewife.
At the age of 17, the girl left Iran for the United States to master the profession of an artist. She attended the University of California at Berkeley, graduating successfully with a master”s degree in foreign affairs in 1982. Her work focuses on the contrasts between Islam and the West, public and private life, antiquity and modernity. Famous women artists. Layli and Majnun. Layli and Majnun (2019) and Witness (2019) Sadly, Iran has undermined basic human rights since the Islamic Revolution.
In this regard, Neshat argued that “she gravitates towards the creation of art, which is associated with tyranny, dictatorship, oppression and political injustice. Although I do not consider myself an activist. I believe that art – regardless of its nature – is an expression of protest, a call for humanity. In her canvases, Neshat explores the political and social conditions of Iranian and Muslim life, with a focus on women and feminist issues. The Women of Allah series, created in the mid-1990s, presents characteristic themes of her work, in which she explores the conditions of male, female, public, private, religious, political and secular identity in both Iranian and Western cultures. Shirin Neshat”s debut solo exhibition was held in New York in 1993.