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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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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Barko, Cortney Cronberg. Writers and artists in dialogue: historical fiction about women painters / Cortney Cronberg Barko. pages cm. — (Studies on themes and motifs in literature; Volume 122) Includes bibliographical references and index. 1. Historical fiction—History and criticism. 2. Women in literature. 3. Painters in literature. 4. Women painters. 5. Art and literature. I. Title. PN3441.B37 809.3’81—dc23 2014033104 ISBN 978-1-4331-2711-3 (hardcover) ISBN 978-1-4539-1452-6 (e-book) ISSN 1056-3970 Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at

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