Female famous artists are a rare commodity. Since ancient times from renaissance realism to impressionist movement, there has been a scarcity of great female painters of the rank of Da Vinci, Van Gogh or Claude Monet.
The reason for less female famous artists is mainly due to social and economic status of woman artists down the centuries. It is not a lack of talent but because of fewer opportunities for women to pursue art as a profession.
Despite adverse circumstances, history has seen a set of female famous artists who have made a name and contributed to the field of art.
Some of the female famous artists are as follows:
- Frida Kahlo: Famous Mexican painter. She was born in Coyoacan, Mexico in 1907. She is known mainly for her self- portraits. She made her first self-portrait- ‘self portrait wearing a velvet dress’, one year after she was injured in a car collision. She achieved much acclaim during her lifetime including the award of National Prize of Arts and Sciences by the Education ministry.
- Mary Cassatt: An American painter of the 19th century, she studied at the Pennsylvania academy of Fine arts before travelling to Europe where she came under the influence of Impressionists like Degas. Many of her paintings had women as a theme especially portraying the relationship of women and children. She is one of the most prominent female famous artists in history.
- Georgia O ‘Keeffe: She was lucky enough to get formal training in art from many notable artists but gained acclaim for the unique perspective in her paintings gained through introspection and experimentation. O’Keefe has commented that she has found painting a good medium to express feelings which she is unable to articulate through words.
- Artemisia Gentileschi: Born as the only daughter of painter, Orazio Di Giovanni and Prudentia Montoni, she learnt to paint from her father. Her first dated painting was completed in 1610 and she achieved much acclaim in her lifetime in the 17th century.
- Beatrix Potter: Famous as author of children’s classic, ’The Tale of Peter Rabbit’, she is also known for her fine illustrations of animals and landscapes.
- Rosa Bonheur: She is acclaimed for her paintings featuring animals and notorious for her adoption of male work attire. She got both bouquets and brickbats for her lifestyle choices and attitude towards sexuality.
- Ann Mary Robertson Moses: Earned the pet name of Grandma Moses. She was an American Folk painter who lived in the period, 1860-1961. Acclaimed as the most successful self-taught painter of the last century, she focused on depicting rural American landscapes.
- Berthe Morisot: Trained to perfection in the impressionist style, she emerged in the 19th century. She received a professional art education along with her sister Edma. She is the only painter apart from Monet who adhered to impressionism all along her career.
- Angelica Kauffmann: She was often one of the best known artists of the 18th century. She specialized in history painting. History painting is a genre that requires knowledge of history as an academic qualification, the opportunity for which was not available for women in those times. Hence, the more remarkable is the contribution of this talented artist.
Conclusion: These are some female famous artists who were able to overcome social and economic challenges to be able to carve a niche in the world of art. As such their contribution is invaluable.