During Holland’s Golden Age, a small country of just two million people became a leading economic and world power. Dutch society became the most urbanized in Europe and had the highest literacy rate, unprecedented religious tolerance, and greater freedoms for women. For the first time in history, the art market was transformed so that it depended less on patronage than on wider market forces. Within the context of enormous commercial prosperity and social progress, the number of Dutch women artists increased. Some remained essentially helpmates in their male relatives’ workshops, while others achieved professional stature, and even celebrity, in their own right. This talk explores the lives, work, careers, and patronage of Dutch women artists across the spectrum, including figures such as Judith Leyster, Rachel Ruysch, Anna Ruysch, Maria van Oosterwyck, Anna Maria van Schurman, Aleidja Wolfsen, Alida Withoos, Geertruyd Roghman, Jacoba Maria van Nickelen, Gesina ter Borch, and Margaretha Wulfraet.
Dr. Marianne Berardi, senior fine arts specialist, European and American Paintings, Heritage Auctions