The Social Status of Women as Seen Through Renaissance Art

I plan to write a research paper examining the social status of women as seen through Renaissance art. I am interested in this topic because I have studied Renaissance art in my art history class, and I would like to gain a more thorough understanding of its social context, especially in terms of women’s social history. In addition, my class touched upon a few accomplished women artists from the Renaissance and the obstacles faced by women artists, and I would like to examine this subject in more detail. My goal is to produce an interdisciplinary research paper that synthesizes research from women’s social history and art history in order to explain how the portrayal of women in Renaissance art reflected the social status of and societal expectations for women. Using primary sources from the National Gallery of Art and the Library of Congress, as well as scholarly books and journals, I will examine how the portrayal of female figures in both religious and secular art reflected established women’s roles and societal views of women. I will also study the experience of women artists during the Renaissance, such as Properzia De’Rossi and Sofonisba Anguissola, and the unique ways in which they portrayed female figures. I will focus my research on Renaissance art from Western Europe from the fourteenth century through the sixteenth century. Through my research, I hope to illuminate the social messages of Renaissance art and to increase awareness of and appreciation for women artists from this time period.