The special exhibition of the Berlin Kupferstichkabinett “Muse oder Macherin? Women in the Italian Art World 1400-1800” illuminates with around 90 works the life and work of female artists such as Rosalba Carriera, Artemisia Gentileschi, Elisabetta Sirani, Diana Mantovana, Isabella d’Este, Christina of Sweden and others, whose works, fates and enormous influence on the art world of their time are partially forgotten today. The exhibition is on view until 4 June 2023.
Fig. above: Rosalba Carriera, Selbstbildnis der Künstlerin, um 1708, Rötel auf Papier, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett Jörg P. Anders
During the Renaissance and Baroque, they outshone their fathers, brothers and husbands with their art, created and collected works that were coveted throughout Europe, knew how to market themselves and build networks. The protagonists of the exhibition are women artists who created sought-after works, but also wives who supported their husbands and served as models for them, patrons and clients who commissioned art and supported artists, preservers and collectors who kept and passed on works.
The aim is not only to show their art but also, as far as is known, to tell something about the living conditions of these women. The influence of being a woman on their role in the art world, whether they married and became mothers, and what strategies they pursued to assert themselves in the world of men that was the art world in the period under consideration will be addressed, so that it is still possible for us to find traces of their work in the collection of the Kupferstichkabinett today.
The varied and active role of women in the Italian art world is illustrated in drawings and prints from the Kupferstichkabinett’s inexhaustible collection, as well as in some special loans. In the process, the youth panel of the National Museums in Berlin, Achtet AlisMB, brings a younger generation’s view of the current theme to bear in some interventions in the exhibition and catalogue.
“Muse or Maker? Women in the Italian Art World 1400 – 1800” is curated by Dagmar Korbacher, Director of the Kupferstichkabinett. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue: 104 pages, approx. 80 col. ISBN: 978-3-88609-878-1, museum price: 18 €.
Wednesday, 8 March – Sunday, 4 June 2023
Tue – Fri 10 am – 6 pm
Sat + Sun 11 am – 6 pm