Why were there so few female painters in Silesia during the Baroque period?

  • 4 May 2023
    10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
  • meeting room of the Dean's Office, building C (2nd floor), Arna Novák 1, Brno

On March 8, 2021, for the first time in the long history of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, three paintings by women, Judith Jans Leyster, Gesina Terborch and Rachel Ruysch, were placed in the honorary gallery. If the National Museum in Wrocław decided to take a similar step, it would have very serious problems with its implementation. In the Baroque period, only three women were painting in Silesia: Anna Elisabeth Willmann, Dorothea Gloger and Antonina della Vigna. Moreover, they did not achieve significant professional success, and their careers remained essentially unfulfilled. Of the approximately 10 000 paintings of Silesian provenance from the Baroque period that have survived, only five were painted by women. Why were so few women painting in Silesia during the Baroque period? And why with such poor results?

Based on the results of a comprehensive study of Baroque painting in Silesia, this lecture will attempt to answer the basic questions posed above.

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