Women Artists of Early Modern Seville

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Alabama Libraries

While there have been great strides made in the last fifty years to devote the same scholarly attention and care to the study of Early Modern female artists that their male counterparts historically enjoyed, there is still much work to be done. This thesis considers one such area of need, women’s artistic production in seventeenth-century Seville. While a recent notice that at least 90 women were active as artists in seventeenth-century Iberia suggests a robust climate for women’s artistic production, when we turn to seventeenth-century Seville, arguably the center of Spanish art in the period, I argue that opportunities for women artists were in fact more limited than those numbers may suggest. This situation is somewhat belied by the extensive literature dedicated to a single artist from Seville, the sculptor Luisa Roldán (1652-1706). In this study, which is the first to focus specifically on women artists of seventeenth-century Seville outside of Roldán, I address the lives and careers of the city’s lesser known women artists, focusing on Luisa de Valdés, María de la Concepción, María de la Encarnación, and María de la Santísima Trinidad. In doing so, I challenge the notion that the city offered a great deal of artistic opportunity for women, more fully addressing the limited environment in which they lived and worked. The foremost limitation, I argue, was the expectation that they subvert individual artistic identity for the betterment of an institutional entity, whether that was the proliferation of a male-run workshop or the spiritual progression of a convent.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Early Modern Europe, Early Modern Spain, Seville, Women artists