Detailansicht des Portraits einer Frau
© Staatliche Kunstsammungen Dresden, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Foto: Wolfgang Kreische, Katrin Jacob

Out of the shadows. Women artists from the 16th to the 18th century

With this cabinet exhibition, the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister turns its attention to women artists from the 16th to the 18th century, who for a long time have been overshadowed by the Great Masters of art history. With their works represented in the collection, they are a minority and to this day their names are far less familiar than those of their male counterparts. This is not due to inability, but to a structural discrimination that is perpetuated in art historiography.

  • DATES 12/05/2023—20/08/2023

In der Sammlung

Women generally were not allowed formal academic training nor drawing from live (nude) models. Only a few women were lucky enough to grow up and be promoted in an artistic environment, so that institutional and social structures did not necessarily hinder their advancement. In many cases, they were the daughters of artists trained in their father’s workshop. 

Portrait einer Frau
© Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Foto: Elke Estel/ Hans-Peter Klut
Therese Concordia Maron, geb. Mengs, Selbstbildnis, um 1744/ 45

Angelika Kauffmann

The cosmopolite Angelika Kauffmann (1741 – 1807) achieved widespread recognition in her lifetime and is also represented here with five works. In a time when only men were seen as true artists and women were credited, at most, with talent but never genius, the painter managed to assert herself by also being a shrewd strategist and self-promotor. She produced numerous history paintings with references to antiquity in which women take the leading roles.

Frauengestalt am Meer
© Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Foto: Elke Estel/Hans-Peter Klut
Angelika Kauffmann, Die verlassene Ariadne, vor 1782

Lavinia Fontana

Lavinia Fontana (1552 – 1614) was one of the first women of the modern period to work as an independent artist. She painted numerous portraits and history paintings of mythological and biblical themes, some of them in large format. The devotional painting in Dresden, “The Holy Family”, is an early work by the Bolognese artist which, after undergoing restoration, will be included in the show in mid-August.

This concentrated presentation also features copperplate engravings by Diana Scultori from the holdings of the Kupferstich- Kabinett as well as paintings and prints by other noteworthy women artists such as Elisabetta Sirani, Barbara Longhi, Rachel Ruysch, Maria van Oosterwijck, and Theresa Concordia Mengs.

Jesuskind mit Maria und Jüngern
© Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Foto: Elke Estel/Hans-Peter Klut
Lavinia Fontana, Die Heilige Familie

Slider Impressionen


Currently no dates


publication to the exhibition

Aus dem Schatten. Künstlerinnen vom 16. bis zum 18. Jahrhundert (in German)

editor: Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, ca. 144 pages, publishing date: 12.05.2023, Sandstein Verlag, 34€, ISBN 978-3-95498-755-9

Aus dem Schatten

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Stillleben mit üppigem Blumenstrauß neben Totenkopf und Muschel
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