Women Artists during the Renaissance- who were they?


Women Renaissance artists? Was there such a thing? I’d never heard of any. Just in case you all are late on the news: There WERE many women artists who made significant and long-lasting contributions to the world of art. During the Renaissance period and even today, we seem to have only heard about male artists and how they had influenced this time period, but really there was much more than just that. In fact though, there were many well known women artists who got a lot more recognition that we give credit to during this period we are in. A Wikipedia article on Fede Galizia, helped me to understand that women artists were “not given the recognition they deserved until well into the 20th century”.

Let me introduce you to Fede Galizia. Here’s what you need to understand about her: first, Gian Paolo Lomazzo, a famous and well known art critic praises her saying “this girl dedicates herself to imitate out most extraordinary art” (“Fede Galizia“). Secondly, she was most remembered as “a pioneer… rescued from the oblivion” (“Fede Galizia“). Fede Galizia was one of the most famous artist of her time, and had gotten as much recognition as her fellow great male artists. Thirdly, her works of art were “portraits derived from the naturalistic traditions of the Renaissance in Italy with a sharply realistic approach”(“Fede Galizia“). Throughout her art, she was known to have been a portrait painter, and painted everything from a rich and realist perspective that made her so famous for her paintings.

Another women artist I felt had the same great talent as Fede was Sofanisba Anguissola. Her paintings made a great impression “astonished every prince and wise man in all of Europe… a brush taken from the hand of the divine… deeply appreciated by Philip King of Spain” (“Sofonisba Anguissola“)The art she painted, in her time, really stuck out as much as any of her fellow peer painters, but never really got as much interest simply since every other male painter was focused on more. What was so peculiar was she “never sold a single one of her paintings” (“Sofonisba Anguissola“). But her art seemed to have so much so much depth and great meaning “women of virtue… chastity… obedience, modesty and silence” (“Sofonisba Anguissola“) It really does surprise me how much we don’t hear about her.

Between these two artists, I think they both had great aspects about each of them. Women artists were also not noticed enough, and from all this info I think there should have been a lot more recognition for there artwork. And to the usual names we hear from that century all the time should step aside and let women artists of there time step in too.


“Fede Galizia.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 26 Feb. 2012. Web. 02 Mar. 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fede_Galizia&gt;.

“Sofonisba Anguissola.” Home Page. Suny Oneonta. Web. 02 Mar. 2012. <http://employees.oneonta.edu/farberas/arth/arth200/artist/sofonisba.htm&gt;.



  1. mralexacademic2014

    Hi Amanda,
    Great and interesting post, I really enjoyed reading it. I had never realized that women were even allowed to be artists in the Renaissance due to the gender standards of the time. I kind of wonder, how difficult would it have been of a woman artist in the Renaissance to be recognized and get publicity for her work? Thanks again, I really enjoyed it.

    • amandagowithit

      Thanks for reading it! Well it’s not that they weren’t allowed to be artist because of standards. There were a lot anyways, but sadly they weren’t recognized enough. To answer your question though, they didn’t really have to work any harder than men, like I said before they just got as recognized as some really famous people of their time, but I guess that fame didn’t carry on for long, maybe? Hope that help answer your question a little!

  2. hiawatha123

    Great post Amanda!!!You were right when i think of Artists Back then i don’t usually think about women Artists. Are the Artsist you talked about the most famous women artists back then or are there more?thanks- Hiawatha

    • amandagowithit

      Well when I was doing my research, I saw that they both were most talked about, and seemed to have the most fame. There for sure were more women artist, & maybe even some that were great, but we were never mentioned. Thanks for reading my post!

  3. avaz121

    Great point, Amanda! I like it. Indeed, female artists in the Renaissance were not given enough attention by neither the modern days or the contemporary public. Even many art pieces of female artists are often mistakenly recognized as other male artists'(such as women artists’ husbands, trainers, partners) by the later generations. What, you think, were special or important about Fede Galizia and Sofanisba Anguissola that made them stand out, become luckier, more successful than most other women artist from the Renaissance?

    • amandagowithit

      Totally, they just seemed like they were hidden behind a curtain sometimes, and looking at this problem even shows that there was probably a gender segregation back them maybe as well. Yeah, when reading other little articles I found, it talked about how a lot learned some ideas from there dad or a relative, not quite sure about the husband and partner thing.
      To answer your question though, those two artists seemed to have been most mentioned in my research, but for sure some artists had the same fame, but maybe painted less so they were less talked about. The reasons why some may not have been talked about as much is endless. I hope that helped a little answer your question!

  4. janine248

    Hi there, I think this is a great article! One question: why do you think they were overlooked?

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