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Famous Painters Blogroll

Anguissola, Three Sisters Playing Chess and Phillip II of Spain

Beckmann, Departure; Self-Portrait in Tuxedo; Sinking of Titanic

Bingham, Fur Traders Descending the Missouri

BonheurPlowing in the Nivernais

Bonheur, The Horse Fair

Book of Kells

Bosch, Garden of Earthly Delights

Botticelli Primavera

Caravaggio, Fashion and Art History

CaravaggioConversion of St. Paul

Caravaggio, Young, Sick Bacchus and Basket of Fruit

Caravaggio, Cardsharps and Fortune Teller

Caravaggio, St. Francis of Assisi in Ecstasy

Caravaggio, Taking of Christ (Kiss of Judas)

Caravaggio Paintings at the Villa Borghese

Cave Paintings

Cezanne, Bathers

Cezanne, Card Players

Cezanne, Most Famous Paintings 

Copley, Paul Revere

David, Death of Marat 

David, Death of Socrates

David, Napoleon Crossing the Alps

de Kooning, Retrospective at MoMA (Part I)

de Kooning,Excavation and Painting, 1948 

de KooningWoman I

Delacroix, Liberty Leading the People  

Diebenkorn, The Ocean Park Series

Duccio, Maesta

Duncanson, Robert Seldon.  Art History Welcomes Duncanson 

Durer, The Four Apostles

Dutch Painters at the Frick Collection, 2013-2014 Show

El Greco, Burial of Count Orgaz

FontanaPortrait of a Noblewoman

Frankenthaler, Color Field Painting and Mountains and Sea

Gainsborough, The Blue Boy

Gentileschi, Artemisia.  Judith Beheading Holofernes

Gentileschi, Artemisia.  Self-Portrait as an Allegory of Painting 

Ghent Altarpiece.  

Ghent Altarpiece via zoom

GiorgioneThree Philosophers 

Goya, Family of Charles IV

Goya, The Third of May 1808 

Goya, Duchess of Alba; Saturn Devouring his Son; Two Old Men; Half-Submerged Dog; Black Paintings

Grunewald, Isenheim Altarpiece

Hals, Banquet of the Officers of the St. George Civic Guard

Hals, The Laughing Cavalier

Hals, Regents of St. Elizabeth's Hospital

Hopper, Nighthawks

Ingres, Grande Odalisque and Portrait of Madame Moissetier

Isenheim Altarpiece

Kahlo, Renowned Frida Kahlo Paintings.  

Angelica Kauffmann.  Self-Portrait Torn Between Music and Painting and David Garrick.  

Klimt, The Kiss and Adele Bloch-Bauer

Leonardo, Painter at the Court of Milan, National Gallery, London 

Leonardo, La Bella Principessa 

Leonardo, New Mona Lisa

Leonardo, Benois Madonna and Madonna Litta 

Leonardo, Savior of the World(Salvator Mundi) 

Leonardo, The Virgin and Child with St. Anne

Leyster, Famous Female Painters 

ManetA Bar at the Folies-Bergere

Manet, Luncheon in the Studio

Manet, The Old Musician

Manet, Street Singer

MantegnaDead Christ

Matisse Paintings, In Search of True Painting

Matisse, The DanceThe Music

Matisse, The Cone Collection

Matisse, The Red Studio

Matisse, The Yellow Dress

Michelangelo, Crucifixion with the Madonna

Michelangelo, Famous Paintings

Michelangelo, La Pieta with Two Angels (latest attribution?)

Michelangelo, St. John the Baptist Bearing Witness

Modersohn-Becker, Famous Female Painters

Monet, Waterlilies

Morisot, Famous Paintings

MorisotMore Famous Paintings

Munch, The Scream

O'Keeffe, Jack in the Pulpit

Picasso, Girl Before a Mirror

Picasso, Nude, Green Leaves and Bust

Picasso, Portrait of Gertrude Stein

Picasso, Las Meninas

Piero della Francesca, The Baptism of Christ

Horace Pippin.  Life and Work

Poussin, Assumption of the Virgin

Raphael, Sistine Madonna

Rembrandt, Aristotle with a Bust of Homer 

Rembrandt, Night Watch

Rembrandt paintings at Frick Show

Rembrandt, Self-Portrait at an Early AgeJeremiah Lamenting the Destruction of Jerusalem, The Jewish Bride

Rembrandt, The Syndics of the Amsterdam Drapers' Guild

Rubens, Venus and Adonis

Sanchez Cotan, Spanish Still-life

Sargent, El Jaleo

Sargent, Madame X

Sargent, Smoke of Ambergris

Steen, The Christening Feast 

Steen paintings at Frick Show

Tanner, The Banjo Lesson and The Thankful Poor

Titian, Assumption of the Virgin

Titian, Bacchus and Ariadne

Titian, Man with a Glove

Titian, Nymph and Shepherd, Allegory of Prudence, Jacopa Strada, St. Jerome, Slaying of Marysas

Titian, Rape of Europa

Turner, J. M. W, The Fighting Temeraire

Uccello, Battle of San Romano

van der Weyden, St. Luke Drawing the Virgin

van Eyck, Arnolfini Portrait

van Eyck, Adoration of the Lamb

van Eyck, Ghent Altarpiece

van Gogh, Patience Escalier

van Gogh, The Potato Eaters

van GoghMemory of Garden at Etten; Tatched Cottages; White House

van Gogh,  Portrait of Madam Trabuc; Morning: Going Out

van Gogh, Starry Night

Vincent van Gogh paintings up to 1889

Vincent van Gogh paintings, 1888-1890

Overview of works and life of Diego Velazquez 

Velazquez, Pope Innocent X

Velazquez, Juan de Pareja

Vermeer, Girl with a Pearl Earring

Vermeer, Saint Praxedis

Vermeer, The Kitchen Maid

Vermeer, The Allegory of Painting

VermeerGirl with the Red Hat

Warhol, Campbell's Soup Cans

Warhol, Marilyn Diptych and Gold Marilyn 

Warhol, Mao 

Anders Zorn

Famous Paintings by Art Museums - ebooks

Learn about famous paintings to see in these art museums:

Albright-Knox Art Gallery (Buffalo, NY). One of those intimate, small art museums with a stellar collectionFamous Paintings at Albright-Knox. 

Art Institute of Chicago: Plan to see these famous paintings at the Art Institute -- and download an ebook about them.

Louvre Museum, (Paris): one of the largest art museums in the world! Know which Louvre paintings not to miss in this sortable ebook. 

Mauritshuis Museum: explore works by renowned Dutch painters

Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York City): download the ebook, Famous-Paintings-Metropolitan-Museum, to learn its must-see masterpieces.

National Gallery (London): with 2300 famous paintings alone in its European painting section, discover highlights to see!  Art Paintings to See at the National Gallery.

Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam): 10 famous paintings not to miss

Washington, D.C. Art Museums: Explore forty famous paintings in Washington, DC in this article.

Most Popular Posts

Michelangelo PaintingsThe Torment of Saint Anthony; The Manchester Madonna;Holy Family (Doni Tondo); and Entombment

Cave Paintings: explore this prehistoric art in Spain and France.

Picasso's Las Meninas: 58 Picasso paintings inspired by Velazquez's Las Meninas

Ghent Altarpiece: the van Eyck masterpiece, one of the most famous artworks ever made. 

Survey of Renaissance Paintings: want to know what Renaissance paintings were all about? Start with 20 of its most famous painters in this sweeping survey! 

Discover more of readers' favorite art history blog posts. 

Female Artists

While we long for the time when artists are artists and genderless, that time isn't yet here.

These are a few of the female artists who've left lasting legacies in the history of painting:

Sofonisba AnguissolaThree Sisters Playing ChessPhillip II of Spain

Rosa Bonheur.  Plowing in the Nivernais.  Horse Fair.

Lavinia Fontana. Portrait of a Noblewoman.

Helen Frankenthaler. Color Field Painting and Mountains and Sea. 

Artemisia Gentileschi.  Judith Beheading Holofernes.  Self-Portrait as an Allegory of Painting.

Frida Kahlo.  Frida and Diego Rivera.  The Two Fridas.  The Love Embrace of the Universe. 

Angelica Kauffmann.  Self-Portrait Torn Between Music and Painting.  David Garrick.

Judith Leyster.  Self-Portrait.  The Proposition. 

Paula Modersohn-Becker. Self-Portrait with an Amber Necklace. Still Life with Goldfish. 

Berthe Morisot.  Refuge in Normandy.  The Cradle. 

Georgia O'Keeffe. Jack in the Pulpit Series. 

Survey of Female Artists

Art History Other

Art History Blogs

ArtDaily: daily breaking news about art museums and art history.

Art Blog by Bob: this brilliant art history blogger of Picture This on Big Think.

Art History Resources. Unwieldly but informative.

Marisol Roman.  A Spanish art history blog.

Mother of all Art & Art History Links: extensive list of online art history resources (including images, research resources, and art history depts.)

smARThistory. Think online art history textbook.  Brilliant. 

Art History Beyond Europe

Famous Paintings ebook

This free ebook has a wealth of facts and articles about the 250 influential paintings in Masterpiece Cards.

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Famous Paintings Reviewed

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Famous Paintings: Portrait of a Noblewoman


An art history blog post from Famous Paintings Reviewed.

guerilla girls naked metThe dearth of famous paintings by female artists isn't art history news, but after recently seeing the Guerilla Girls poster, Do Women Have to be Naked to get into the Met Museum?, I was curious - which woman in art history was first deemed a famous painter?  Introducing Lavinia Fontana (1552-1614) of Bologna, Italy.

Renaissance art was informed by the guild system in Florence and Siena, which educated artists, helped with commissions, and discouraged female artists.  The system, though, was more relaxed in Northern Italian cities like Bologna. The daughter of Prospero Fontana, a Late Mannerist painter (and occasional head of the local painter's guild), Lavinia was tutored by him and exposed to Renaissance art by Correggio, Raphael, and Parmigianino.

By the 1570s, Lavinia Fontana was a highly regarded painter not only of portraits -- the typical, if only, option for female painters because they were forbidden to study anatomy - but also of large altarpieces, and art paintings depicting mythological and religious themes.  She was the most sought after portraitist in Bologna, and was patronized by the Bolognese Pope Gregory XIII.  When her reputation eclipsed that of her husband, the painter Gian Paolo Zappi, he became her assistant and primary caregiver for the couple's eleven children.  After Fontana's fame spread to Rome, she moved there to become a portraitist at the court of Pope Paul V. 

lavinia fontana portrait noblewoman

Lavinia Fontana.  Portrait of a Noblewoman, ca. 1580.  Oil on canvas, 45 1/4" by 35 1/4".  National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC.  Gift of Wallace and Wilhelmina Holladay.

Portrait of a Noblewoman epitomizes Fontana's technical prowess in what is believed to be a wedding portrait. Fontana's use of  a dark background amplifies the noblewoman's sumptuous attire. With light pouring in from the left, every reflection from her jewels is captured, as is the textural differences among the silk, satin and lace of her wedding attire (most Bolognese wedding dresses during the Renaissance were red).  The woman modestly averts her eyes from the viewer while she strokes a small dog, a frequent symbol of fidelity. Hanging from her belt and dangling in the foreground is an oddity - the pelt of a marten whose head and jaws are bejeweled, another marker of her wealth.

lavinia fontana self portraitLavinia Fontana accomplished some "firsts" in art history -- she had a continuous 40 year long career; she produced some 135 art paintings, making her the first female artist in Western Europe to work competitively with men, outside a court or convent; and she had one, if not the, first stay-at-home husbandsl 

Left: Self Portrait, Lavinia Fontana.


We are on the same brain wave! I've been researching Lavinia Fontana this week as well. I'm so glad that you have written a post on her. The self-portrait of Fontana at the spinet (at the bottom of your post) is especially interesting to me. Like the Portrait of a Noblewoman, this self-portrait is thought to be a wedding portrait (right before Fontana's marriage to Paolo Zappi in 1577). The coral knot placed on the spinet is also seen as a symbol of betrothal. There is an interesting blog post which discusses this painting: 
Posted @ Wednesday, January 12, 2011 10:52 PM by M
Interesting to read a post on an early female artists - thanks! It's worth looking at Germaine Greer's book "The Obstacle Race:the Fortunes of Women Painters and their works" - published in the late 1970s, still of interest.
Posted @ Tuesday, January 18, 2011 11:56 AM by pauline thomas
Thanks for the book recommendation - it's one I'll definitely read soon, as the dearth of information about female painters is getting more and more perturbing... 
Posted @ Tuesday, January 18, 2011 1:55 PM by Susan Benford
What a great post! It's easy to forget that women artists existed in the past - they receive so little attention. I look forward to including this in the February Art History Carnival, which will be posted tomorrow Thanks again!
Posted @ Monday, January 31, 2011 3:22 PM by Margaret Lozano
The opposite is therefore also true and equally valid. "More than 95% of the artists in the Modern Arts Section are men, but only 15% of them nudes are male."
Posted @ Monday, March 05, 2012 11:53 AM by Brenda
While I appreciate your point, male artists have historically not been interested in painting the male body; female painters have, for the majority of art history, been prohibited from doing so. That explains the dearth of paintings of nude men. 
Susan Benford
Posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 11:15 AM by Susan Benford
Another contemporary female artist (also very very famous at the time, partially for the rarity of her gender within an artist's role) is Sofonisba Anguissola (1532-1625).
Posted @ Tuesday, September 03, 2013 11:22 AM by Daisy Smith
Thanks for bringing attention to Sofonisba, with whom I'm enamored -- here's some information about her I recently posted. 
Thanks for joining in! 
Posted @ Tuesday, September 03, 2013 12:16 PM by Susan Benford
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