travels: paris, the louvre and strong women

August 20, 2015

When there is so much to see, in such a short amount of time, it sometimes helps if you have limited parameters. Instead of trying to see everything – choose one or two things to concentrate on. louvre-women2I didn’t have any particular parameters in mind when I began our peripatetic perusal, but after this powerful woman on a plinth caught my eye. I decided to see how many paintings I could find with powerful women as the main subject. louvre-women5Not Madonna’s – although I think of them as very strong. There were just too many of them. And clothed would be nice. Have you ever stopped to consider the ratio of naked women to men in art museums? Hmmmm.louvre-women3Most all of the paintings with women as the main subject were allegorical in the galleries we visited. No idea what collections we visited. I also don’t remember seeing a lot of “women as sexual objects”. Either I missed those ones or they came later in the art world. I hopped over to the wiki site for the Louvre and of course I missed a great number of works that feature women… some in the “sexual object” category. I also missed Michelangelo’s Dying Slaves. (I think I would have actually fought the crowd to see that one!)

louvre-women1Still, most of what I saw was woman as saint or goddess, or symbol or something otherworldly. I would have loved to see a few Vermeers. Have you seen the film Tim’s Vermeer yet? I recommend it. It is an entertaining and educational hypothesis about an optical device Tim believes Vermeer used to paint his works.louvre-women4Interesting that the only portrait of a real (non-allegorical) woman I saw was painted by a female artist. Elizabeth Lebrun was born in Paris to a portraitist father and by the time she was 16 was painting portraits professionally herself. Click here to go to the wiki page about her. She was a very interesting woman. I don’t remember her being mentioned in my art history class. I wonder how many other interesting women weren’t mentioned in my art history classes? Did you know that 

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Lisa Chin
    August 21, 2015 at 12:20 am

    I love seeing art through other peoples eyes. Thanks for continuing to share!

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