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Writers and Artists in Dialogue

Historical Fiction about Women Painters


Cortney Cronberg Barko

This unique work of scholarship explores contemporary issues of male spectatorship and the importance of biography for art criticism in the work of Tracy Chevalier, Eunice Lipton, Anna Banti, Kate Braverman, and Susan Vreeland. Drawing upon feminist concepts on the male and female gaze, Dr. Cortney Cronberg Barko perceptively examines how these authors challenge androcentric models of reading by demonstrating women’s powers as readers and writers. This intriguing study reveals that authors working within the genre of fictionalized biographies of women painters reconstruct art history to create a new canon for women artists and invent a rhetoric about art that empowers women. This book is ideal for art history courses and a wide range of literature courses, including fiction, literary theory, literary criticism, feminist literary theory, and women's literature.
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List of Figures

Chapter 1.   Introduction

Chapter 2.   Tracy Chevalier and Eunice Lipton’s Female Gaze: New Narratives about Women Painters

Tracy Chevalier’s Girl with a Pearl Earring

Eunice Lipton’s Alias Olympia: A Woman’s Search for Manet’s Notorious Model and Her Own Desire

Chapter 3.   Interpreting the Paintings of Artemisia Gentileschi: Biography as Feminist Art Criticism

Chapter 4.   The Inseparability of Frida Kahlo’s Life and Art: The Importance of Biography for Feminist Art Criticism

Chapter 5.   Susan Vreeland’s Emily Carr: Inventing a New Rhetoric About Art for Women

Chapter 6.   Conclusion

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