With the first cry of the baby, the mother rejoiced but then, sank in despair.
No body dared to hold the baby.
“It is a girl” declared the middle wife.
Woman – her existence is as complicated as her portrayal. Be it the modern times or we trace down the past. No where do we find a relief in the projection and subjugation of the so called “goddess”. Either invoke the Muses or light an incense stick before her for blessings, nobody will deny their existence as women so why is it that their identity is penned down by the authorities according to their satisfaction.
Art provides us greater justification about the roles and duties of women, their treatments by men, their unexpressed emotions as well as their untold tales. But still, their projection is somewhat constricted to the upper classes. The lower or the middle class women had to wait long years to search her way out to some identity of her own.
Many of us neglect the paintings and sculptures centered around women primarily because there seem other interesting things to amuse one’s senses. But it is in those very paintings and sculptors that the tales of their guises find a way to reach out to us.
If we take a quick walk down our glorious past, we will find many a representations of women by renowned artists to be famous enough to be neglected. Yes, neglected.
Take a look.
Hans Holbein’s portrait of Mary, “Lady Guilford”
Here, notice the luxurious clothing and expensive jewelry she dons. The setting behind her depicts her elite status. She also holds a book, maybe deliberately, to show her refinedness and literacy.
Vasari’s Judith and Holofernes
The painting depicts a muscular woman tried to behead Holofernes. This projects superiority of feminity over patriarchy.
Picasso’s portrait of Mona Lisa
Who isn’t aware about the mysterious Mona Lisa smile in the Louvre, France?
Gustav Klimt’s portrait of women
Gustav Klimt, a nineteenth century artist portrayed women through various stages of life. He depicted in his works all forms of feminity. He viewed feminity as a natural phenomenon and thus portrayed women through their natural cycle of development and decline
Hannah Wilkes portrayal of women who have dealt with breast cancer.
Her depictions are heartening yet spreading a word of awareness about breast cancer among other women.
Kara Walker’s portrayal of women sexuality and identity.
Kara Walker tries to bridge the gap by raising identity and gender issues. Her silhouettes are the imageries of women sexuality, hurt identity as well hurting other’s identity.
These were just few of the thousands of great examples to relate women with art.
If we take a closer look at the sculptures, paintings or even the cinema, the stones, paints and the screen reflect the psychological, social as well as the economic aspect of being a woman.