There is a term “Renaissance Man” to describe a person who is creative, artistic, and musical. But have you ever heard the term “Renaissance Women”? I learned that women were restricted from doing art in the Renaissance. And there’s a dictum of Nannina de’ Medici, “Don’t be born a woman if you want your own way.” Women can be easily found in many paintings in the Renaissance but it’s hard to find women that are well known as an artist. What was the ideal woman in men’s minds? What were the women like in the society in the Renaissance?
Renaissance was the period that people could be unique and creative in art. However, only limited people from artisanal backgrounds and families with at least some money could be artists. Especially, only males had a chances to be artists when females couldn’t even get proper art educations. Women were unable to get formal art training because women were not allowed to study the nude male; so they couldn’t paint as males could. Because of that, women were only well known in minor arts such as textiles, needlework, and painting on porcelain. But, they were not known in painting or sculpting which were major arts. If a woman wanted to be an artist, she had to be born in to a family of nobility.
The reason why women couldn’t emerge in art during the Renaissance shows in the society at that time. It is interesting that the women figures, which the artists drew, were the representations of women what men wanted the Renaissance women to be. Woman’s role in the Renaissance was being a child-bearer, doing housework, and being a good wife. So women could only focus on the skills that helped them with the household. Many portraits of women reflect their social status and roles of being a wife and a mother. According to the article I read, it says how important it was for the Renaissance painters to depict women as an “ideal woman” as society’s idea and that shows the correct social class of women. The painting, “Venus of Urbino” by Titian represents the Allegory of marriage of a woman. It reminds the woman of the martial obligation that she has to fulfill to her husband. Titian achieves the goal of representing the perfect Renaissance woman who is just like Venus, becomes the symbol of love, beauty and fertility. I also watched a video of “The Birth of Venus” by Botticelli, which shows the beauty of Venus. Many of the paintings such as “Venus of Urbino” and “Venus of Urbino”, contain the beauty of women.
It shows a great connection between the ideal women that were drawn in the paintings and the real women in life in the Renaissance. In many ways, men restricted women’s lives and set the ideal woman only as a wife and a mother that do house works while their husbands works outside. I believe that the society of restricting and excluding women influenced the Renaissance art to depict the “ideal women” in the paintings.
Drahman, Tess. “Women and Men in Renaissance Art.”Students.sbc. n. page. Web. 1 Mar.
Steven Zucker. Botticelli, The Birth of Venus, 1483-85. 2012. Photograph. Khan Academy
“Venus of Urbino by Titian.” Uffizi Gallery . (2012): n. page. Web. 3 Mar. 2012. <http://www.uffizi.org/artworks/venus-of-urbino-by-titian/>.
Kent, Dale. “Women in Renaissance Florence.”Eymployees. (2012): n. page. Web. 3 Mar. 2012. <http://www.uffizi.org/artworks/venus-of-urbino-by-titian/>.