Historical Fiction about Women Painters
Chapter 6. Conclusion
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The quotation from Roberta White’s A Studio of One’s Own that begins this project is worthy of further consideration at its conclusion: “The dialogue of the woman artist with her society; the writer’s dialogue with the painter…and, more broadly fiction’s dialogue with painting are unfinished stories no matter what sort of closure the novelist may attempt to put upon them” (31). Dialogues do take place between women artists and society and between writers and painters. This discussion explores the significance of such dialogues. For instance, Anna Banti’s Artemisia poignantly illustrates the nature of the dialogue between writer and artist, as Banti creates a narrator who engages in dialogue with the character of Artemisia Gentileschi about how to write Gentileschi’s life story. Similar dialogues taking place between writers and artists in historical fiction about women painters show the extent to which women communicate with one another through writing and art.
The communication or dialogue that takes place between women writers and painters in this study is also important because it contributes to the development of feminist art criticism. Authors of historical fiction about female painters form relationships with their artist subjects which allow them to interpret women’s art in new ways. Just as many feminist art critics contend that women artists’ biographies must be attended to in order to understand ← 115 | 116 → artists’ careers and work, the authors in this study form interpretations of women’s art based on...
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