My paper is finally finished! That being said, I regret that it doesn’t include all of the information that I found in my research. Some of the essays that I read covered very specific, niche topics, and while they were very interesting, they just didn’t fit neatly into a paper that was meant to provide a general overview.
Since my last blog post, I’ve decided to further narrow the scope of my paper. I had initially hoped to cover portrayals of women in secular and religious Renaissance art, as well as women artists of the same time period. However, in doing my research, I realized that this collection of topics was extremely broad and that I needed to narrow my focus more in order to have some hope of developing a cohesive paper. I have decided to focus on the topics of female portraiture, marriage furniture, and women artists. In this blog post, I’ll give an overview of female portraiture.
In crafting my Monroe project proposal, I knew that I wanted to study feminist perspectives on Renaissance art, but I knew very little about the quantity and scope of feminist art historical scholarship. Because of this, I phrased my research question broadly as “How did the portrayal of female figures in Renaissance art from the fourteenth through the sixteenth centuries relate to the social status of women?” I planned to compile a general review of the literature, possibly focusing in on areas of particular interest that I came across in my investigation.
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.