Women Looking at Louvre a Portrait of the Women Artists as Amateurs in Early Modern Period
In the early modern era, the concept of professional and amateur female artists changed from the beginning of the century to the middle of it. In the first sense, “amateurs”, women or men, were usually high-class people who had plenty of time and were interested in art. Particularly, rich, educated and even talented amateur women were the ones who shaped the art world of the time. On the other hand, “professionals” were the artists who often found their place in the Academy and perform art. However, in time, the century would see that women amateurs who wanted to understand better the nature of art and who entered into the workshops. On the other hand, the artists who were called “amateurs in the following years were not only those who enjoyed art in the beginning of the century, but also who practiced it. However, like professionals, art was not a mean to make their living. The main subject of this article is the 18th century French female amateurs who were talented master artists. However, in spite of the innovations and groundbreaking intellectual atmosphere in every aspect of life, especially in France, the early modern period provided women artists with incomparably less opportunities than male artists. Female amateurs who could not enter the Academy and could not bring their works together with the audience to the Salon exhibitions in Louvre remained in a narrow environment and could not benefit from the opportunities offered by the period. From this point of view, this paper seeks to shed light on the amateur women artists whose names were not seen in the Academy records, in the Louvre exhibition catalogs and in the art market production conditions and their works of art to answer the question of “why didn't they become professional artists?”
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