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Essay about Women in Art History

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Women in Art History


Gender credo has signified political and cultural values in Greek and Roman era. In particular women representation in artwork has pondered and reinforced the values of their times. In the articles, "Parthenon and Parthenoi: A Mythological Interpretation of the Parthenon Frieze" by Joan B. Connelly and "The Muted Other" by Natalie Boyment Kampen, the Parthenon frieze, the Ara Pacis: Imperial Family frieze, and Cornelia: Mother of the Gracchi, are pieces depicted to characterize women in their implemented roles.
Taking a look at the Parthenon, 442-438 B.C. Athens, there are many scenes, which display women in an active purpose of their society. The Parthenon frieze is said, "to be viewed as a representation of the fifth-century Athenian citizenry participation in their annual Panathenaic procession" (Connelly 53). The east frieze manifests the royal family preparing the sacrifice of the youngest daughter in memory of Erechtheus and the parthenoi. It is customary for the Parthenon's family to have large number of female members. Parents that evince three daughters would immediately signify that they were an Athenian royal family. Greek catastrophe shows virgins of noble birth sacrificed to ensure victory in war. Thus, in the event the youngest is sacrificed the other sisters gave their lives as loyalty not only to the sister, but also to the polis. The Athenians commemorate the dead hero and heroines and celebrate their first victory. It was assumed, "boys go to war, girls go to sacrifice, both for the good of the polis" (61). This scene states that in this era women were looked as equals as long as it was for the well being of the polis. If Athenian soldiers sacrificed their lives on her behalf, she ...


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...in Augustan Rome and during the eighteenth century implied that educated, powerful, and independent women could comprehend. Instead of asking women to be "blissful creatures", enabled them to purify their own recent history of its flaws and false values. Thus, imposing women to become heroic and moral women. "Classicizing imagery of gender is functional…it describes the socialization of women to moral conduct…explains the relations between Self and Other, between insider and outsider, between ruler and ruled" (18). Gender is an icon and model for the world of "idealized class and international relations". (18) Women become equivalent to man, in the sense of chaotic ness and "irregular essence" is controlled by her incorporation into the civilized and rational world. Classicism is the tool of "wide-raging ideology", a mechanism and metaphor for societal hegemony.



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