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  • Writer's picturelaraspadetto

In William Shakespeare’s time, women weren’t taken seriously. Wives were objectified as shiny accessories and daughters as property to be traded and bartered for gain.


But art doesn’t always play by societal rules.


Shakespeare created a world in which women had a voice.



They showed immense power and strength. He made each female character unique and sometimes modern, where indomitable and independent protagonists emerged. Here are four unique female characters represented in his works.



Cordelia

Cordelia is portrayed in Shakespeare’s tragedy, King Lear. The arrogant king retires from his position, leaving his three daughters different financial shares depending on how well they convey their love to him. Two of the daughters take advantage of this and dramatically claim how great he is, in hopes to get the most money. But Cordelia states she merely loves him because it’s her obligation as his daughter. The king kicks her out of the kingdom with no money. This results in her finding a husband that loves her for her, not her money or status.


Later, when her father ends up in prison and her sisters are hanged, she comforts her father and remains the strongest character in the story.



Portia


In The Merchant of Venice, Portia’s father dies and takes over his massive estate. In his will, he impedes a rule that any man who pursues her must pass a test of chance to receive his “blessing” to marry her. In the process, a judge is needed to settle a debate between the men. Portia disguises herself as a male judge and conducts the trial. She shows great wisdom and imposes power over the men who are seeking to have power over her.





Lady Macbeth


In the tragedy Macbeth, Lady Macbeth is a powerful, independent woman, but in a very different way than the other characters. She persuades her husband, Macbeth, and coerces him to murder another character to gain political power. Stereotypical roles reverse as she manipulates her husband by belittling his lack of power and pressuring him with a sense of obligation to her. He submits to her powerful persuasion and, in the end, kills the man.



Juliet


In one of Shakespeare’s most famous works, Romeo and Juliet, Juliet is a young girl being traded off into an arranged marriage by her father.

She refuses to marry the man she is set up with because she loves Romeo, a rival to the family.

Despite punishments and familial expectations, she stands strong in her decision. This refusal is bold and shows what an independent woman she is, even at a young age.





Independent Women in Art


Even in times of oppression, when women were thought of only as a commodity, art holds the power to construct an alternate reality. It can give a voice to voiceless women and portray them as strong, independent women.


That is the power of art.


I depict strong women like these characters in my female portrait paintings. As a woman artist, I’m on a mission to empower and embolden women through my female portrait paintings.


Take some time to browse my paintings at https://www.laraspadettoart.com/ .


By clicking on the image below you can download one of my most cherished portraits "ARTEMIS" in high resolution. You can print it directly at your home or have it reproduced on fine paper.


I hope it brings you joy.


You will also become part of my VIP community. Together we can do a lot by supporting each other!


This print will be available for a limited period of time. Click on the image below to download it.





Resources:


https://www.nosweatshakespeare.com/characters/shakespeare-female-characters/

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  • Writer's picturelaraspadetto

Artemisia Gentileschi, a modern woman of the 16th century


Like many successful 16th century Italian female artists of her time, Artemisia Gentileschi’s talent was granted beginnings because her father was a painter.


But her strength and experience were all her own.


She was a courageous and independent woman, a champion of Caravaggio’s dramatic realism age, and a true survivor.




Her Story


As she apprenticed alongside her father, she was often in the company of other male artists.


And at just the age of 17, she was robbed of her youth and raped by painter Agostino Tassi.

Her father attempted to press charges, and the young teenager went to trial. Tassi was found guilty — but received no punishment.


He walked out unscathed by societal systems while Gentileschi walked out with both her trauma and the wrongful shame of her judgmental community’s eyes weighing on her.



From Trials to Triumph


When we hear traumatic stories of artists, they typically lead to their demise or downfall.


But not with Artemisia.


Artemisia Gentileschi armed herself with her struggles and found the strength to not only keep going but to boldly proclaim her message through her work.


She turned her heavy darkness into palatable pieces. An independent woman and female artist, she empowered the powerless. She left subtlety behind and boldly called out female oppression and male voyeurism through biblical imagery, a style that popular male artists of the time practiced.



Her Art


Gentileschi painted herself — her trauma, repression, and experiences — into her paintings.


Judith Slaying Holofernes

Literally, this painting depicts Judith beheading Holofernes. It has been interpreted by feminists and other female artists to illustrate her trauma and emotions regarding her rape by Tassi. Recently, many have seen it to represent women’s battle against oppression as a whole.


Susanna and the Elders

This is Gentileschi’s earliest known piece. Literally, it portrays Susanna being violated as men stare at her bathing. Many have also interpreted this piece to reveal Gentileschi’s uncomfortable experience when she was assaulted and abused by lurking men as just a young girl.



The Power of Art


Art has the power to give a voice to the voiceless.


In one image, you get a vivid glimpse into the depth of her pain and the sting of her sorrow.


She inspires me.




I am a female artist on a mission to uplift and strengthen other independent women through my portrait paintings. I paint strong, courageous, and independent female figures who inspire me and reflect the strength in you.

Take some time to browse my paintings at https://www.laraspadettoart.com/ .


By clicking on the image below you can download one of my most cherished portraits "ARTEMIS" in high resolution. You can print it directly at your home or have it reproduced on fine paper.


I hope it brings you joy.


You will also become part of my VIP community. Together we can do a lot by supporting each other!


This print will be available for a limited period of time. Click on the image below to download it.



Resources:

https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/artists/artemisia-gentileschi

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2016/oct/05/artemisia-gentileshi-painter-beyond-caravaggio


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  • Writer's picturelaraspadetto

We talk about history’s greatest artists all the time:

Michelangelo. Picasso. Van Gogh. Da Vinci. But do you notice a pattern?

Something is missing. A strong force and powerful presence not even mentioned.


Women.

All of the famous painters we revere, talk, and learn about were all men. And a great part of their work they receive credit and praise for is their paintings of women.


The art realm has always been an almost exclusively male environment where female artists both in the past and present have struggled to find a place at the table.


Fortunately, things seem to be changing.



Female Artists in History


There are many unrecognizable female artists that belong on the list of greats throughout every period in history.


Sofonisba Anguissola (1532–1625) cleared the path for other women to apprentice during the Italian Renaissance by being the first one to do so herself.


Artemisia Gentileschi (1593–1653) was the first woman to be accepted into the renowned Italian art academy of her time.


Élisabeth Vigée le Brun (1755–1842) became Marie Antoinette's personal portrait artist.


Berthe Morisot (1841–1895) landed her work in the very first Impressionist exhibit alongside her male counterparts, Monet, Degas, Cézanne, and Renoir.


More recently, Tamara de Lempicka(1898–1980) and the iconic Frida Kahlo (1907–1954) have paintings that belong to some of the world’s most distinguished art museums and galleries.

These resilient women’s efforts paved a path for much of the representation of female artists receive today.



Women in Art Today


Women in art have been discriminated against, muted, and omitted from the art world for centuries and even today.


According to the U.K.’s National Museum of Women in the Arts, a little over half of today’s artists are women.


But these numbers don’t match up with our modern-day galleries, collections, and museums.


78% of London’s exhibits have higher male representation than female. A mere 5% have equal representation.



How We Can Make a Change


Today, women in art can create their pieces, learn their craft, and explore diverse themes with much more freedom than in the past.


But we still have quite a way to go.


Let’s remove the veil and shed the covers muting the women of the art world, both in the past and in the present.


One of the most effective ways of doing so is supporting women in art.


I am a female artist on a mission to empower and embolden women through my portrait paintings. I paint strong, courageous, and independent female figures who reflect the power in both these bold female artists and you.



Take some time to browse my paintings at https://www.laraspadettoart.com/ .


By clicking on the image below you can download one of my most cherished portraits "ARTEMIS" in high resolution. You can print it directly at your home or have it reproduced on fine paper.


I hope it brings you joy.


You will also become part of my VIP community. Together we can do a lot by supporting each other!


This print will be available for a limited period of time. Click on the image below to download it.



Resources:

https://mymodernmet.com/famous-female-painters-art-history/

https://www.tate.org.uk/art/tate-exchange/women-in-art

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