Into the limelight. Women artists in the collection.

16 September 2022 - 13 February 2023, Spotlight exhibition room, Lacour wing
Domenica Monvoisin, Une prêtresse d'Ischia, détail, 1855 © MusBA.


As a natural progression from the Rosa Bonheur (1822-1899) exhibition, the museum's tribute to women artists continues from 16 September 2022 in the Spotlight exhibition room (Salle des Actualités). Nearly eighty artists from the collection are "coming out of storage" and invite you to take a journey through the history of women's art, from the sixteenth to the twenty-first century, thus complementing the works of women artists already present in the permanent display. 
In most of the cases, these works are leaving the darkness of the museum's storerooms where they are conserved and for the first time will be hung from the picture rails in the light of an exhibition room. 
Famous or not, and from Bordeaux, Paris or further afield... 
All of them, in a special setting inspired by the hanging of the museum reserves, are a testimony to their talent in various media: painting, drawing, engraving, miniature, photography, ceramics, sculpture and tapestry.

Mary Cassatt, Portrait de jeune femme, 1901 © F. Deval.


The exhibition presents celebrated women artists such as Mary Cassatt and Berthe Morisot – co-founder and leading exponent of Impressionism during her lifetime – and Marie Laurencin, all presented here without any hierarchy governed by their recognition or their career. 
The works date mainly from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as the conditions for women painters to practise, their access to training and their integration into the professional world only really developed in the 1780s. Until the beginning of these years, women painters came mainly from the families of artists or craftsmen. 
One of the major changes at the beginning of the nineteenth century for women painters was the creation and burgeoning of private classes and women's workshops, which became fashionable places, allowing a social mix between young women of good society and those from a more modest social background. The Académie Julian, which opened in Paris in 1868, offered a free course for women only, where men could pose as models (wearing trousers) in 1876, and then nude. 
For young women, this Academy was the only alternative to the courses offered by the public establishment of the École des Beaux-arts, created in 1796, admission to which was forbidden to them until 1897, although even then they were not allowed to enter the workshops and competitions; that situation only changed in 1900 and 1903. 
However, despite the constraints and restrictions imposed on them, women were able to train in painting and other artistic practices like their male counterparts.
Germaine Lacaze, Portrait de la mère de l'artiste, 1932 © Musée des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux.
Some figures
The low representation of women artists in the history of art – for a long time confined to small formats, graceful and tender subjects, or minor genres like miniatures or flower paintings – and consequently in the collection of the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux, reflects this situation.
Out of a total of 8,238 works held by the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux, there are exactly 158 women artists represented by 289 works, while male artists number 1,700 with 6,971 works (978 being works by anonymous artists). Women represent 8.5% of the number of artists and 3.5% of the works, which places the Bordeaux collection slightly above the national average. 
The public can contemplate works grouped by major subject: nudes, history painting, portraits and self-portraits, still life, landscape, genre scenes, etc., mixing formats and centuries. 
You can discover twocontemporary works from the exhibition (Barré, Camille Henrot, Jagoda Buić) as you wander through the permanent collections in the Lacour wing, in dialogue with two works from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries (Lavinia Fontana, Marianne Loir). 

Camille Henrot, The Universe, détail de l'appartement de Yona Friedman, 21e siècle
© Photo : L. Gauthier.

Jagoda Buić, Structure noire II. Triptic structural Tapisserie, 1964 © Photo : F. Deval.
With: George Achille-Fould, Jeanne Amen, Marie Annaly, Germaine Baude-Couillaud, Anna Baudry, Mildred Bendall, Laura Bernasconi, Marie Bertgoudal, Ruth Bess, Henriette Boichard, Rosa Bonheur, Juliette Bonheur-Peyrol, Denise Bonvallet-Philippon, Riva Boren, Christine Boumeester, Henriette Bounin, Odette Boyer-Chantoiseau, Jagoda Buić, Victoire-Elisabeth Calcagni, Marguerite Callet-Carcano, Jacqueline Cantenat, Elisabeth de Cardenal, Mary Cassatt, Geneviève Chapront, Denise Colomb, Simone Colombier, Amélie Delacoste, Madame Desperrières, Fatoumata Diabaté, Clémentine-Hélène Dufau, Paulette Expert, P. Faure Laubarède, Domenica Festa-Monvoisin, Sophie Tavel-Feytaud, Lavinia Fontana, Anny Fourtina, Julie Galian, Laure Garcin, Anne Garde, Marguerite Gérard, Marie-Eléonore Godefroid, Marie-Madeleine Goldie, Alice Halicka, Marie Antoinette Hamm, Hortense Haudebourt-Lescot, Camille Henrot, Louise Hervieu, Nélie Jacquemart, Berthe de la Baume, Germaine Lacaze, Madeleine-Aimée Lacour, Marie Méloé Lafon Marsaud, Henriette Lambert, Marcelle Larrieu, Marie Laurencin, Louise Le Vavasseur, Azalaïs Lefèvre-Deumier, Marianne Loir, Jeanne Lot-Eyquem, Suzanne Martin, Armande Marty, May Maxwell, Thérèse Mazet-Augarde, Céleste Mingaud, Clémence Molliet, Jane de Montchenu-Lavirotte, Berthe Morisot, Gabrielle Marie Niel, Nelly Paté, Isabelle Perrin, Louise Potié, Yvonne Préveraud De Sonneville, Marie Thélika Rideau-Paulet, Colette Rodde, Suzanne Runacher, Barbara Schrœder, Isabelle Sprenger-Sébilleau, Maria Simon, Ernestine Sirine-Real, Anna Staritzky, Anne Vallayer-Coster, Yvonne Vony, Maria Wagner.
Sylvaine Lestable, Head of the Graphic Art Department, Head of the Collection Management and Exhibition Production Department, Musée des Beaux-Arts. 
Anny Ketty Guyte Fourtina, La mouche bleue, 20e siècle © Musée des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux.


Practicla informations
Musée des Beaux-Arts 
20, cours d’Albret 
33 000 Bordeaux 
Tél. : 05 56 10 20 56 / 
Open every day except Tuesdays and public holidays, from 11am to 6pm.
Madeleine-Aimée Lacour, Portrait de Pierre Lacour fils, 19e siècle © Musée des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux.
Domenica Monvoisin, Une prêtresse d'Ischia, détail, 1855, MusBA, Photo : F. Deval.

Domenica Monvoisin, Une prêtresse d'Ischia, détail, 1855 © MusBA, Photo : F. Deval.