Themes in Art

Women Artists
Correcting the record

Women Artists, Themes in Art

Women artists are systematically overlooked and minimized in their own time, and their artwork is often lost, misattributed to men, or forgotten by recorded history. Household names in art history are overwhelmingly male. Despite this, every single era and art movement has been shaped by the women who persevered against patriarchal bias, brought their unique perspectives, innovated mediums, recorded their lives, and challenged society’s understanding of gender.

Obelisk is working to amass a diverse, global library of female artists, from history’s favorites like Frida Kahlo and Georgia O'Keeffe to the medieval polymaths Hildegard von Bingen and Herrad of Landsburg, and the self-taught masters Chaïbia Talal and Baya Mahieddine. This is an always-growing collection of artworks, biographies and stories. If there’s a badass female artist I should profile, please let me know at [email protected].

Reed Enger, "Women Artists, Correcting the record," in Obelisk Art History, Published March 20, 2016; last modified July 24, 2023,

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Adélaïde Labille-Guiard, The ArtistsPortrait of Adélaïde Labille-Guiard

Adélaïde Labille-Guiard

Clearing the way for women

1749 – 1803
Agnes Goodsir, The ArtistsPortrait of Agnes Goodsir

Agnes Goodsir

1864 – 1939
Agnes Martin, The ArtistsPortrait of Agnes Martin

Agnes Martin

On inwardness and silence

1912 – 2004
Aisha Galimbaeva, The ArtistsPortrait of Aisha Galimbaeva

Aisha Galimbaeva

Women, flowers and daily life in Kazakhstan

1917 – 2008
Aleksandra Ekster, The ArtistsPortrait of Aleksandra Ekster

Aleksandra Ekster

Rhythm and dynamic movement

1882 – 1949
Alice Austen, The ArtistsPortrait of Alice Austen

Alice Austen

1866 – 1952
Alice Neel, The ArtistsPortrait of Alice Neel

Alice Neel

The unblinking anxiety of modern life

1900 – 1984
Alma Thomas, The ArtistsPortrait of Alma Thomas

Alma Thomas

Tackling abstraction at 75

1891 – 1978
Aloïse Corbaz, The ArtistsPortrait of Aloïse Corbaz

Aloïse Corbaz

1886 – 1964
Amrita Sher-Gil, The ArtistsPortrait of Amrita Sher-Gil

Amrita Sher-Gil

The truncated lives of women

1913 – 1941
Ana Mendieta, The ArtistsPortrait of Ana Mendieta

Ana Mendieta

1948 – 1985
Ana Mercedes Hoyos, The ArtistsPortrait of Ana Mercedes Hoyos

Ana Mercedes Hoyos

Investigating art history in paint

1942 – 2014
Angelica Kauffmann, The ArtistsPortrait of Angelica Kauffmann

Angelica Kauffmann

A feminist prodigy charms the European elite

1741 – 1807
Anita Magsaysay-Ho, The ArtistsPortrait of Anita Magsaysay-Ho

Anita Magsaysay-Ho

Paint until you're 90, then keep painting

1914 – 2012
Anna Ancher, The ArtistsPortrait of Anna Ancher

Anna Ancher

Quiet portraits of daily life

1859 – 1935
Anna Atkins, The ArtistsPortrait of Anna Atkins

Anna Atkins

Electric blue: the first photographic book

1799 – 1871
Anna Bilińska-Bohdanowicz, The ArtistsPortrait of Anna Bilińska-Bohdanowicz

Anna Bilińska-Bohdanowicz

1857 – 1893
Anna Dorothea Therbusch, The ArtistsPortrait of Anna Dorothea Therbusch

Anna Dorothea Therbusch

1721 – 1782
Anne Estelle Rice, The ArtistsPortrait of Anne Estelle Rice

Anne Estelle Rice

The life behind the line

1877 – 1959
Anne Genevieve Greuze, The Artists

Anne Genevieve Greuze

1762 – 1842
Anne Goldthwaite, The ArtistsPortrait of Anne Goldthwaite

Anne Goldthwaite

Artist turns modernism into equal rights activism

1869 – 1944
Anne Vallayer-Coster, The ArtistsPortrait of Anne Vallayer-Coster

Anne Vallayer-Coster

1744 – 1818
Antonia Eiriz, The ArtistsPortrait of Antonia Eiriz

Antonia Eiriz

1929 – 1995
Araceli Gilbert, The ArtistsPortrait of Araceli Gilbert

Araceli Gilbert

Andean color meets European Constructivism

1913 – 1993
Artemisia Gentileschi, The ArtistsPortrait of Artemisia Gentileschi

Artemisia Gentileschi

Heads will roll

1593 – 1656
Augusta Savage, The ArtistsPortrait of Augusta Savage

Augusta Savage

Sculptor, teacher and warrior for civil rights

1892 – 1962
Barbara Hepworth, The ArtistsPortrait of Barbara Hepworth

Barbara Hepworth

The ovoid and its penetration

1903 – 1975
Barbara Longhi, The ArtistsPortrait of Barbara Longhi

Barbara Longhi

1552 – 1638
Baya Mahieddine, The ArtistsPortrait of Baya Mahieddine

Baya Mahieddine

Queen Baya

1931 – 1998
Bernice Bing, The ArtistsPortrait of Bernice Bing

Bernice Bing

The patient negotiation of mystery

1936 – 1998
Berthe Morisot, The ArtistsPortrait of Berthe Morisot

Berthe Morisot

The soul of Impressionism

1841 – 1895
Bertina Lopes, The ArtistsPortrait of Bertina Lopes

Bertina Lopes

1924 – 2012
Biruta Baumane, The ArtistsPortrait of Biruta Baumane

Biruta Baumane

1922 – 2017
Catharina van Hemessen, The ArtistsPortrait of Catharina van Hemessen

Catharina van Hemessen

Success against the odds

1528 – 1565
Chaïbia Talal, The ArtistsPortrait of Chaïbia Talal

Chaïbia Talal

“A message of hope to all women”

1929 – 2004
Charmion von Wiegand, The ArtistsPortrait of Charmion von Wiegand

Charmion von Wiegand

Beyond the grid

1896 – 1983
Clara Peeters, The ArtistsPortrait of Clara Peeters

Clara Peeters

A mysterious woman paints hyperrealistic brunch

1589 – 1657
Clare Atwood, The ArtistsPortrait of Clare Atwood

Clare Atwood

1866 – 1962
Constance Mayer, The ArtistsPortrait of Constance Mayer

Constance Mayer

1775 – 1821
Dinorah Bolandi, The ArtistsPortrait of Dinorah Bolandi

Dinorah Bolandi

1923 – 2004
Dora Maar, The ArtistsPortrait of Dora Maar

Dora Maar

Fearsome interiors

1907 – 1997
Dorothea Lange, The ArtistsPortrait of Dorothea Lange

Dorothea Lange

Iconic photographer bar None

1895 – 1965
Dorothea Tanning, The ArtistsPortrait of Dorothea Tanning

Dorothea Tanning

Exploring the strange world of dreams

1910 – 2012
Elaine de Kooning, The ArtistsPortrait of Elaine de Kooning

Elaine de Kooning

Writer, teacher, and a natural painter

1918 – 1989
Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale, The ArtistsPortrait of Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale

Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale

1872 – 1945
Elena Brockmann, The ArtistsPortrait of Elena Brockmann

Elena Brockmann

Grabbing history painting by the horns

1865 – 1896
Élisabeth Chaplin, The ArtistsPortrait of Élisabeth Chaplin

Élisabeth Chaplin

A life's worth of paintings dedicated to Florence

1890 – 1982
Élisabeth Sophie Chéron, The ArtistsPortrait of Élisabeth Sophie Chéron

Élisabeth Sophie Chéron

1648 – 1711
Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun, The ArtistsPortrait of Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun

Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun

Painted for Marie Antoinette and never made a dime

1755 – 1842
Elisabetta Sirani, The ArtistsPortrait of Elisabetta Sirani

Elisabetta Sirani

The mysterious death of a young art teacher

1638 – 1665
More Themes in Art
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Self-Taught Artists, Themes in Art

Self-Taught Artists

Social Realism, Themes in Art

Social Realism

Autobiographies, Themes in Art


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