Historical Fiction about Women Painters
Chapter 2. Tracy Chevalier and Eunice Lipton’s Female Gaze: New Narratives about Women Painters
← 20 | 21 →
· 2 ·
TRACY CHEVALIER AND EUNICE LIPTON’S FEMALE GAZE
New Narratives about Women Painters
Feminist theory and theories on gender differences in reading discuss the female gaze, a way of seeing which de-objectifies women, recreates women’s lived experiences, and creates bonds between women. This female gaze challenges the male gaze which situates women as “the Other” and treats women as erotic objects of desire (Felman 14). Women featured in paintings by renowned male artists, such as Johannes Vermeer and Edouard Manet, are often objectified by viewers, scholars, and painters. The girl featured in Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring and the woman in Manet’s Olympia are two examples of women in paintings whom viewers frequently eroticize. The viewing public sees these women with a masculine gaze (referring to the gender of the gazer, not biological sex) that assumes they are objects of sexual excitement for the painter, lovers, or merely aesthetically pleasing objects for viewers to gaze upon.1 Art critics Kris and Kurz contend that an “artist’s work has sexual significance, assuming that a beautiful woman in a painter’s picture is his mistress” (116).2 In “Imaging Desire,” Mary Kelly supports and extends Kris and Kurz’s contention, arguing that “Desire is embodied in the image [of a woman in art] which is equated with the woman who is reduced to the body…[her body then becomes] the site of sexuality and the locus of desire” (122). Art critics agree that a...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.