Suzanne Valadon – Family Portrait (1912)

“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way”, is how Leo Tolstoy starts his 1878 novel Anna Karenina about a married Russian countess who is shunned by society after she falls in love with another man. In his masterpiece, Tolstoy poignantly shows the hypocrisy and discrepancy between how unfaithful…

Artemisia Gentileschi – Jael and Sisera (c. 1620)

The sight of a female painter in 17th century Italy must have been an absolute rarity, but Artemisia Gentileschi was lucky enough to be taught to paint in her father’s workshop. It was there where she also met Agostino Tassi, another artist that her father, Orazio Gentileschi, had hired to tutor her. One day Tassi…

Spotlight: Hayv Kahraman

Her art examines the horrors of war and the Iraqi culture in which she grew up, but most of all, it sheds light on what it means to be a woman. Inspired by Art Nouveau, Japanese prints, Persian miniature painting and fashion iconography, Hayv Kahraman’s paintings are, at once, an exploration of how the artist…

Remedios Varo – Rheumatic Pain I (1948)

Largely unknown outside of Mexico, today Remedios Varo is still one of the many forgotten female artists of Surrealism. Just a quick glance at her work, that blends alchemy, the occult, architecture and science, will make you realize that the solitary women she portrayed were often tortured and enclosed, trapped in cages and towers –…

Natalia Goncharova – The Cyclist (1913)

Born into an aristocratic family descended from the poet Alexander Pushkin, Russian artist Natalia Goncharova was destined for greatness. Eccentric, audacious and fully aware of her capabilities, at only 32 Goncharova became the first woman and avant-garde artist to have a retrospective show in Moscow.  Ultimately, she would be known for co-founding Rayonism, a style…

Camille Claudel – The Abandonment (1905)

“Have pity, cruel girl, I can’t go on, I can’t spend another day without seeing you. Otherwise the atrocious madness. It is over, I don’t work anymore, malevolent goddess, and yet I love furiously. My Camille be assured that I feel love for no other woman, and that my soul belongs to you. … Ah!…