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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


← vi | vii →


Figure 1.   Johannes Vermeer (1632–1675). Girl with a Pearl Earring, c.1665. Oil on canvas. Mauritshuis, The Hague.

Figure 2.   Edouard Manet (1832–1883). Olympia, 1863. Oil on canvas. Museo d’Orsay, Paris.

Figure 3.   Artemisia Gentileschi (1593–1652/1653). Self-Portrait as the Allegory of Painting. c. 1638–1639. Oil on canvas. Collection Her Majesty the Queen, Kensington Palace, London.

Figure 4.   Emily Carr (1871–1945). Totem Walk, Sitka, 1907. Watercolor. Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria.

Figure 5.   Emily Carr (1871–1945). The Crying Totem, 1928. Oil on canvas. Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver.

Figure 6.   Emily Carr (1871–1945). The Red Cedar, 1933. Oil. Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver.

Figure 7.   Chitra Ganesh (1975–present). Tales of Amnesia, detail (Godzilla). 2002–2007. Saatchi Gallery: London Contemporary Art Gallery. ← vii | viii →

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