By Costanza Beltrami

Following this morning’s post on female artist Marianna Candidi Dionigi, IAS blog is delighted to report that the world-renown Uffizi Galleries in Florence plan to show more work by female artists. This is a small but significant step to readdress a century-old imbalance in how Western Art has been studied, appreciated and displayed in collections around the world. The Uffizi Galleries’ decision is particularly significant as this museum is a beacon of High Art of the Renaissance, a period traditionally considered the culmination of human ingenuity for the intellectual achievements of its male humanists and for its new pictorial rendition of the male human body.

The Uffizi’s initiative will begin in the spring, with an exhibition on Suor Plautilla Nelli (1523-87). Although her name is all but forgotten today, Suor Plautilla was a nun who dedicated herself to painting and is Florence’s first-known female Renaissance artist. The exhibition will open at the Uffizi on 8 March 2017, Iternational Women’s Day, and run until 30 April. The exhibition will showcase several recently-identified works from the nun’s own convent and from central Italian churches. Its catalogue will be sponsored by a Florence-based association, Advancing Women Artists Foundation, which has restored a number of Nelli’s works.

A few days later on 24 March, another Florentine museum, the Pitti Palace, will celebrate the self-portraits of Austrian artist Maria Lassning in a show running until 28 June. Lassning’s works will hopefully led the audience to reflect on gender relations and gendered bodies, as her art was deeply concerned with the forms and essence of her own female body.

The two forthcoming shows promise to inaugurate a reconsideration of the Uffizi’s holdings aimed to weave female artists into the narrative of the museum’s display. The transformation has been inspired by the Guerrilla Girls, an art collective which fights female discrimination in the arts. They have recently carried out a survey of almost 400 museums showing modern and contemporary art in Europe, aiming to understand and expose the gender bias in their displays. The results of their work are on show in the exhibition Is it even worse in Europe? at the Whitechapel Gallery in London until 5 March 2017.

Source: The art Newspaper

The Tribuna at the Uffizi.

Suor Plautilla Nelli, Saint Catherine with Lily. Source: Advancing Women Artists Foundation.

Suor Plautilla Nelli, Lamentation with Saints, Suor Plautilla Nelli, Museo di San Marco, Florence. Source: Advancing Women Artists Foundation.

Maria Lassnig, Selbstporträt expressiv,1945, oil on canvas. Courtesy the artist. Source: MOMA PS1.

Maria Lassnig. Selbstporträt unter Plastik, 1972, oil on canvas. Collection de Bruin-Heijn.
Photo copyright Peter Cox. Source: MOMA PS1.

The Guerrilla Girls in front of the Whitechapel Gallery. Photo: David Parry/PA Wire. Source: The Whitechapel Gallery.

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