Birth of Priviledge

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Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists? By Linda Nochlin

Whilst reading this article I experienced many emotions, beginning with the irritation due to the overly verbose introduction, seemed to me a thesis extended to show off ones vocabulary. Then insulted and a little taken aback by the obvious hostility toward men and an excuse to rant rather than a straightforward approach to cover the heart of the issue. To finally, once she did get down to “the brass tacks” excited, intrigued and enlightened by thoughts and ideas I had never considered before. I mourned for the articles substance which had been nearly drowned out by the initial hate filled tirade.

This being said, I will attempt to answer some rudimentary questions as to why female artists have not reached the same level of advancement as their male counterparts. Why they have not achieved levels of fame as say Monet, Van Gogh, Degas, Rembrandt, and many others have and how this has not been made available to women and not a failing of all female kind due to physicality. Rather how the cultural and fiscal opportunities which create masters in the field of art has been, more often than not, barred from women.

1. What is a master artist?

According to this article a Master Artist is someone who was classically trained, apprenticed, has gone through some form of schooling, received recognition or rewards for their skill, and who has access too and society allows to paint the naked human form.

“there could be no great painting with clothed figures, since costume inevitably destroyed both the temporal universality and the classical idealization required by great art.” (Nochlin)

Women were barred from taking part in figure sittings where there was a completely nude figu...

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... happens to be a woman in Renaissance Italy would be turned down for apprenticeship simply based on her gender. Yet this was more than just common it was the rule of law and tradition for so long that by the time of the suffragettes equal rights for women was not even welcomed by all women, let alone men and the patriarchal societies they lived in.

There are things in this world that we know are wrong and yet like our ancestors before us, we continue following upon a path of apathy. Change is not attainable until there is radical social change, as most people comply with this immoral practices simply out of convenience. Like shopping at walmart, buying an iphone, or not stopping or reporting a crime when you are a witness to one.

The crime here has been the obfuscation and repression of beautiful minds and blinding talents that just so happen to belong to women.
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