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ISBN: 978-0-87846-892-8; 176 pages; 9 x 10.5 in.; 100 color illustrations
The story of the Renaissance in Italy is often told through the work of great male artists such as Michelangelo, Raphael, Donatello, and Leonardo. But what about the female half of the population? By exploring works made by, for, or about women, this book aims to reconsider a period of creative ingenuity and artistic excellence from their often-overlooked perspective.
Drawing on the rich collections of paintings, ceramics, textiles, illustrated books, and prints at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, this publication focuses on images of feminine power, both sacred and the secular, telling the stories of saints like Mary Magdalen as examples of strength and ascetic devotion, Biblical heroines like Judith as civic and domestic role models, and the mythical sorceress Medea as the ideal of a heroic nude. Women also asserted their presence as artists, artisans, and patrons: Sofonisba Anguissola, Lavinia Fontana, Artemisia Gentileschi, Vittoria Colonna, Isabella d’Este, and Eleonora Gonzaga are just some of the strong women who shaped the life and art of the Italian Renaissance.