Spring 2017  -  Get temporary access to course materials (Amherst College and Five-college students only)

Women and Art in Early Modern Europe

Listed in: Art and the History of Art, as ARHA-284  |  European Studies, as EUST-284  |  Sexuality, Women's and Gender Studies, as SWAG-206

Formerly listed as: ARAH-84  |  EUST-55  |  WAGS-06

Moodle site: Course


Nicola M. Courtright (Section 01)


(Offered as ARHA 284, EUST 284, and SWAG 206.) This course will examine the ways in which prevailing ideas about women and gender-shaped visual imagery, and how these images influenced ideas concerning women from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment. It will adopt a comparative perspective, both by identifying regional differences among European nations and tracing changes over time. In addition to considering patronage of art by women and works by women artists, we will look at the depiction of women heroes such as Judith; the portrayal of women rulers, including Elizabeth I and Marie de' Medici; and the imagery of rape. Topics emerging from these categories of art include biological theories about women; humanist defenses of women; the relationship between the exercise of political power and sexuality; differing attitudes toward women in Catholic and Protestant art; and feminine ideals of beauty.

Limited to 15 students. Spring semester. Professor Courtright.


2016-17: Offered in Spring 2017
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2012, Fall 2014