Women in art 1400-1800

Course Dates: 27/02/20 - 26/03/20
Time: 14:30 - 16:30
Location: KS - Keeley Street

There were a significant number of highly talented female artists active during the 15th to 18th centuries, so why is their work not more famous? This course investigates and redresses this gender inequality.


What is the course about?

On this course we will examine a group of immensely talented painters who won enormous international acclaim in their day, and included founder members of the Royal Academy and hugely sought-after portrait painters. We will look at highly esteemed artists who worked at the major European royal courts, others who were some of the greatest flower painters of the Dutch golden age (one of whose paintings sold for considerably more than Rembrandt’s), and painters of altarpieces and exquisite still lifes. The work of these artists hangs in Tate Britain, the National Gallery and other major collections around the world, yet most are not household names. The only thing these artists had in common was that they were all women.
On this course we will discuss how these extraordinary artists achieved so much at times when the odds were so stacked against them. What qualities did these women have? Why was it so difficult to be an artist and a woman at the same time? Why were women artists often restricted to certain genres (subjects)? And why do we hear so little about their work today? The artists whose work we will examine and discuss will include Sofonsiba Anguissola, Lavinia Fontana, Clara Peeters, Artemisia Gentileschi, Judith Leyster, Mary Beale, Rachel Ruysch, Rosalba Carriera, Angelica Kauffmann, Mary Moser and Louise-Marie-Elizabeth Vigée Le Brun and others.

What will we cover?

• A wide of range of work by women artists from different European countries and who specialized in all types of genres
• The cultural and social contexts of the time and how they impact women in art
• How women artists trained as artists and managed to achieve critical acclaim and success in their fields
• Formal analysis selected works and the relevance of the cultural contexts behind the paintings.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

• Name at least 5 women artists from the period 1400-1800 and identify the genres in which they worked
• Discuss the cultural and social issues that have affected the fame and reputation of women artists working this period
• Analyse one of the paintings discussed on the course in terms of its formal elements and how it reflect the culture and society in which it was made.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This course is suitable for all levels.
You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions, demonstrations, hand-outs and health and safety information, and will be invited to take part in group discussion.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

You will be taught with slide presentations and group discussions.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

You might wish to bring a notebook. You might wish to buy some of the books on any reading list given out in class.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

You might also be interested in:
• VB131 - Italian Renaissance drawing: design, form and function.
• VB858 - Women in art 1800-1900
• VB712- Women in Art: 1900-1960.

General information and advice on courses at Build is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details


Customer Reviews 1 item(s)

Write a review

Reviews below are by students who have attended this course, regardless of the course teacher. Please be aware you may not be booking onto a course with the same teacher.

The tutor is super enthusiastic about the content, puts in immense effort preparing class materials and is soooo incredibly knowledgeable about what she's teaching. Course has fascinating content which is otherwise very difficult to learn about and access. More information about women artists, yes please!!!
Course Rating
Review by Ethel / (Posted on 10/06/2019)
Tutor Biographies
Elizabeth Eyres

Liz Keevill Eyres worked as a textile designer in the fashion industry for four years and then as a magazine journalist specializing in interior design for 13 years. Her first degree was at Camberwell School of Art which she did at the same time as completing a degree in History and Art History with the Open University. Liz studied and has taught at Kingston University, where she lead modules and lectured in history of art, design history and architecture for ten years and ran study visits both at home and abroad. Liz has researched into English Modernist textile design of the 1950s and the professional practice of the provincial Edwardian architect, in particular Norwich-based architect George Skipper.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.

Book your place

Course Code: VB867

Thu, day, 27 Feb - 26 Mar '20

Duration: 5 sessions (over 5 weeks)

Full fee: £129.00
Senior fee: £103.00
Concession: £79.00

Or call to enrol: 222-66-889-99

Download form & post

Any questions? [email protected]
or call 020 7492 2652

Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online Help Center. You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.