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Painting Women

Cosmetics, Canvases, and Early Modern Culture

Patricia Phillippy

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This original analysis of the representation and self-representation of women in literature and visual arts revolves around multiple early modern senses of "painting": the creation of visual art in the form of paint on canvas and the use of cosmetics to paint women's bodies. Situating her study in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Italy, France, and England, Patricia Phillippy brings together three distinct actors: women who paint themselves with cosmetics, women who paint on canvas, and women and men who paint women—either with pigment or with words.

Phillippy asserts that early modern...

This original analysis of the representation and self-representation of women in literature and visual arts revolves around multiple early modern senses of "painting": the creation of visual art in the form of paint on canvas and the use of cosmetics to paint women's bodies. Situating her study in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Italy, France, and England, Patricia Phillippy brings together three distinct actors: women who paint themselves with cosmetics, women who paint on canvas, and women and men who paint women—either with pigment or with words.

Phillippy asserts that early modern attitudes toward painting, cosmetics, and poetry emerge from and respond to a common cultural history. Materially, she connects those who created images of women with pigment to those who applied cosmetics to their own bodies through similar mediums, tools, techniques, and exposure to toxic materials. Discursively, she illuminates historical and social issues such as gender and morality with the nexus of painting, painted women, and women painters.

Teasing out the intricate relationships between these activities as carried out by women and their visual and literary representation by women and by men, Phillippy aims to reveal the delineation and transgression of women's creative roles, both artistic and biological. In Painting Women, Phillippy provides a cross-disciplinary study of women as objects and agents of painting.

Reviews

Reviews

A deeply illuminating work on aspects of material culture... which shaped following ages.

Phillippy strikes a delicate interpretive balance between contemporary criticism and specific historical periods, cultures, and genres that will undoubtedly guide future research.

One will undoubtedly be enriched by many of the previously obscured glimpses that she has succeeded in unveiling.

Painting Women: Cosmetics, Canvases, and Early Modern Culture not only offers an enlightening argument, but also a productive direction and excellent model for feminist scholarship.

This complicated subject leads to a study of early modern culture in England, France and Italy that is revealing.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
272
ISBN
9780801882258
Illustration Description
26 halftones
Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgements
Introduction
Chapter 1. Painting Women: Spectacle and Subjectivity
Chapter 2. Public Women: Female Friendship on Trial
Chapter 3. The Mirror of Socrates
Chapter 4

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgements
Introduction
Chapter 1. Painting Women: Spectacle and Subjectivity
Chapter 2. Public Women: Female Friendship on Trial
Chapter 3. The Mirror of Socrates
Chapter 4. Colors and Essence
Chapter 5. Custom, Conscience, and the Reformation of Painting
Conclusion
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Author Bio