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By Walter Smith
Early art histories are eager to tell of the many accomplished male painters but often do not give the same amount of attention to the female artists. Admittedly during the early years of oil paintings men did dominate the scene. Canvas paintings were just not something very many women created. Despite the low number of early female painters, there are some that did gain notoriety during their life and fame after their death. Here are some of the more famous female painters that helped pave the way for modern day women.
Suzanne Valadon was born in France in 1865. She was the illegitimate daughter of a common working woman and spent her childhood years in and around the bohemian section of Paris. By the time she was ten she had to work and eventually settled on a position with a circus. This lasted for some time but a fall ended her career as a circus performer but was the first step in her career as an artist. Between the years of 1880-1883 Valadon worked as a model. She posed for famous painters like Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and it was during these secessions that she began to observe their technique. Before long she began painting and receiving guidance and instruction from her good friend Edgar Degas.
In fact, Degas was the first one to purchase a painting by Valadon. Over the years she developed her style and painted more and more. By 1909 she could support herself by her paintings alone. Although she did create some landscape paintings, most of her paintings are of nude women. By 1911 she had her own art show and was one of the more famous painters in the Montmartre district of Paris. Valadon died in 1938 and was mourned by fellow artists such as Andre Derain, Pablo Picasso, and Georges Braque.
Rosa Bonheur was born in France in 1822. As the oldest child in a family of artists, Bonheur quickly developed a deft hand for drawing and painting animals and landscapes. Bonheur skill as a painter was guided by her father who was also a painter. She traveled throughout Europe gaining perspective and inspiration from the different sceneries she glimpsed. Although she gained earl fame in France, her paintings were more popular in England. Her most famous painting, The Horse Fair, depicts the activity of a Paris horse market. Her paintings, which were greatly appreciated during her time, are less popular today as she remembered more for wearing pants and being a suspected lesbian.
Adding a piece of art to any room in your home can do wonders, although great looking art is typically very expensive. Not anymore, there are a number of online dealers operating through the internet that are presently offering ‘ready to hang’, hand painted oil paintings at reasonable prices. Adorn your home without spending a fortune with marvelous canvas oil art that is 100% hand painted by an artist and are ready to hang straight out of the box.
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