New Book | Eighteenth-Century Women Artists
Distributed in the USA and Canada by The University of Chicago Press:
Caroline Chapman, Eighteenth-Century Women Artists: Their Trials, Tribulations, and Triumphs (London: Unicorn Press, 2017), 176 pages, ISBN: 978 191078 7502, £20 / $35.
The eighteenth century was an age when not only the aristocracy, but a burgeoning middle class, had the opportunity to pursue their interest in the arts. But these opportunities were generally open only to men; any woman who wished to succeed as an artist still had to overcome numerous obstacles. In a society in which women were expected to marry, become mothers, and conform to rigid social conventions, becoming a professional artist was a controversial choice. Nevertheless, if a woman possessed charm and ambition, and united her talent with hard work, success was possible.
Eighteenth-Century Women Artists celebrates the work of women who had the tenacity and skill (and sometimes the necessary dash of luck) to succeed against the odds. Caroline Chapman examines the careers and working lives of celebrated artists like Angelica Kauffman and Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun as well as the equally interesting work of artists who have now mostly been forgotten. In addition to discussing their varied artworks, Chapman considers artists’ studios, the functioning of the print market, how art was sold, the role of patrons, and the rise of the lady amateur. It is enriched by over fifty color images, which offer a rich selection of art from the time.
Caroline Chapman is a writer, editor, and picture researcher. She has worked for both the Arthur Tooth and Son Art Gallery and the Crane Kalman Gallery as well as working as a freelance picture researcher for 30 years for Times Books, Dorling Kindersley, Phaidon, and Weidenfeld. She is the author of Elizabeth and Georgiana: The Duke of Devonshire and his Two Duchesses for John Murray and John and Joséphine: The Creation of The Bowes Museum for The Bowes Museum and has written an number of travel articles for the Times Education Supplement and Cosmopolitan.