Real Women: March 11

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Art would exist so differently now if we didn’t have women to inspire it. Even sensitive undertones within the harshest paintings calm the piece as a whole. Soft skin, wide eyes, and flowing hair make for an aesthetic image, so portraits of beautiful women done well will always be beautiful. Women and art went hand in hand for the longest time because both largely existed just to look at.

But in a society where the intellectually evolved recognize a woman’s worth, these paintings from the past take on more meaning than a simple pretty picture or pretty person. What about her life is lost to history when just the image of what she looked like survives? If these women were around today, what would they be able to contribute now? How much knowledge did the world miss out on because it took so long for so many groups of people to prove their equality?

Goya. "Portrait of Doña Isabel de Porcel," 1805. Image via Jaded Mandarin.

Goya. “Portrait of Doña Isabel de Porcel,” 1805.
Image via Jaded Mandarin.

Pierre Auguste Renoir. "Julie Manet" also known as "Child with cat," 1887 Oil on canvas.  Image via Mata Mua.

Pierre Auguste Renoir.
“Julie Manet” also known as “Child with cat,” 1887
Oil on canvas.
Image via Mata Mua.

Sir Joshua Reynolds. "Mrs. Susanna Hoare and Child," 1763.  Image via Jaded Mandarin.

Sir Joshua Reynolds. “Mrs. Susanna Hoare and Child,” 1763.
Image via Jaded Mandarin.

Frederick Leighton. “Gulnihal," 1886.  Image via High-Five Anyone?

Frederick Leighton. “Gulnihal,” 1886.
Image via High-Five Anyone?

Charles Cromwell Ingham. Detail from "The Flower Girl," 1846. Image via Jaded Mandarin.

Charles Cromwell Ingham. Detail from “The Flower Girl,” 1846.
Image via Jaded Mandarin.

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