famous female artists

Famous Female Artists

Famous Female Artists A-Z Top 20 List

ADDucation’s all time list of famous female artists highlights the works of the most prominent women artists down the centuries. Women that have helped changed the art world and continue to inspire female artists and painters today. All these prominent female artists are included in ADDucation’s A-Z index of famous artists.

Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs About Women and Art
  • What is Feminist Art?
    Feminist art emerged in the late sixties and used shock imagery of female body parts to break down barriers. Alternative media, often considered “women’s work”, which where not historically male-dominated and new media including conceptual art, body art and video created new spaces for feminist artists to reach real people in real places and observe the world from a female perspective to change attitudes and achieve equality.
  • Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?
    The title of an essay and the question posed by American art historian Linda Nochlin in 1971 which explores the institutional obstacles, the nature of art and genius which has been extended to many other professions. Required reading for feminists. ADDucation’s list of famous female artists demonstrates there have been many great female artists throughout history.

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Famous Female ArtistsNationalityBornDiedArt Periods / Art MovementsFamous Works, key facts, quotes
Beale, MaryEnglish16331699Baroque portrait painter.Notable art works by Mary Beale, one of England’s earliest famous female artists:
  • Charles Beale the Elder (c1660).
  • Portrait of a Physician (1699).
  • Portrait of Robert Colman (c1690).
  • Mary Wither of Andwell (1675).
  • Portrait of a Woman with a Black Hood (1660).
  • Portrait of a Young Girl (1681).
  • Portrait of a Youth (1689).
Bourgeois, LouiseFrench/American19112010Contemporary art, Surrealism, Modern art, Feminist art, Installation art. Sculptor, painter and print-maker.Notable art works by printmaker and painter Louise Bourgeois, most famous for her large sculptures and installation art:
  • Maman (1999).
  • Spider (1996).
  • Janus Fleuri (1968).
  • Quarantania I (1984).
  • The Nest (1994).
  • The Welcoming Hands (1996).
  • Mamelles (1991).
  • Father and Son (2005)
  • Fragile Goddess (2002).
  • Female Portrait (1962)
Bracquemond, MarieFrench18401916Impressionism.Notable art works by impressionist painter Marie Bracquemond, described by French art historian Henri Focillon in 1928, along with Mary Cassatt and Berthe Morisot, as one of “les trois grandes dames” of impressionism:
  • On the Terrace at Sèvres (1880).
  • Woman with an Umbrella (1880).
  • Under the Lamp (1887).
  • The Artist’s Son and Sister in the Garden at Sèvres (1890).
Cassatt, MaryAmerican (USA)18441926Impressionism.Notable art works by impressionist painter Mary Cassatt, one of America’s most famous female artists, described by French art historian Henri Focillon in 1928, along with Berthe Morisot and Marie Bracquemond, as one of “les trois grandes dames” of impressionism:
  • Little Girl in a Blue Armchair (1878).
  • Moise Dreyfus (1879).
  • The Loge (1882).
  • The Bath (1892).
  • The Boating Party (1893-1894).
  • Mother and Child (1899).
Carrington, LeonoraEnglish/Mexican19172011Surrealism.Notable art works by novelist and painter Leonora Carrington OBE  who lived and worked in Mexico City:
  • The Giantess (c1947).
  • The Meal of Lord Candlestick (1938).
  • Adieu Ammenotep (1960).
  • The Artist Traveling Incognito (1949).
  • Operation Wednesday (1969).
  • Portrait of the Late Ms Partridge (1947).
  • Around Wall Street or portrait of Pablo in NY (1973).
  • Peacocks of Chen (1971).
  • Green Tea (1942).
  • Amor che move il Sole et l’altre Stelle (1946).
Chicago, JudyAmerican (USA)1939Minimalism, Feminist art.Popular art works by Judy Chicago famous for large collaborative art installation pieces which explore the role of women:
  • The Dinner Party (1979).
  • Rainbow Pickett (1965).
  • Female Rejection Drawing, from the Rejection Quintet (1974).
  • Rainbow Shabbat (1992).
  • Earth Birth (1983).
  • Heaven Is for White Men Only (1973).
  • Bigamy Hood (1965).
  • Power Headache (1984).
  • Big Blue Pink (1971).
  • Birth Tear-Tear (1985).
Ekster / Exter, AleksandraRussian18821949Futurism, Cubism, Cubo-Futurism, Suprematism, Constructivism, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Modern art.Popular art works by Aleksandra Aleksandrovna Ekster painter and designer who worked and lived in Kiev, St. Petersburg, and Moscow in Russia, Vienna and Paris:
  • Woman with fish (1934).
  • Blue, black, red (1918).
  • Three Female Figures (1910).
  • Woman with birds (1928).
  • Bridge. Sevres (1912).
  • Color construction (1912).
  • Satanic Ballet (1922).
Frankenthaler, HelenAmerican (USA)19282011Abstract Expressionism, Color Field painting, Lyrical Abstraction.Popular art works by Helen Frankenthaler:
  • Mountains and Sea (1952).
  • East and Beyond (1973).
  • Grey Fireworks (2000).
  • Tales of Genji III (1998).
  • What Red Lines Can Do (1970).
  • Glow II (1968).
  • Mauve District (1966).
  • Solar Imp (2001).
  • Robinson’s Wrap (1974).
  • Contentment Island (2004).
Gentileschi, ArtemisiaItalian15931563Baroque.Notable art works by Artemisia Gentileschi was the first woman to become a member of the Florence Accademia di Arte del Disegno:
  • Judith Slaying Holofernes (1614-20).
  • Susanna and the Elders (1610).
  • Self-Portrait as the Allegory of Painting (1639).
  • Judith and her Maidservant (1613).
  • Esther and Ahasuerus (1630).
  • Madonna and Child (1613).
  • Danae (1612).
  • Self-Portrait as a Lute Player (1616-1618).
  • Allegory of Inclination (1615).
  • Jael and Sisera (1620).
Hepworth, Jocelyn BarbaraBritish (English)19031975Modern Art, Modernism, Abstract Art / artist and sculptor.Notable works by Dame Jocelyn Barbara Hepworth one of Britain’s most famous female artists:
  • Single Form (1961) sculpture.
  • Two Forms / Divided Circle (1969) sculpture.
  • Curved Form / Bryher (1961) sculpture.
  • Three Forms (1935) sculpture.
  • Winged Figure (1963) sculpture.
  • Figure for Landscape (1960) sculpture.
  • Sphere with Inner Form (1963-1965) sculpture.
  • Two Figures (1968) sculpture.
  • Sea Form / Atlantic (1964) sculpture.
  • Elegy III (1966) sculpture.
  • Blue and green / arthroplasty (1947) painting.
Kahlo, FridaMexican19071954Surrealism, magical realist.Notable art works by Kahlo Frida who was famous for her portraits and paintings inspired by nature, artifacts and Mexican culture:
  • Self-Portrait with Monkey (1938).
  • Suicide of Dorothy Hale (1939).
  • The Two Fridas (1939).
Knight, Laura
English18771970ImpressionistLaura Knight, one of Britain’s famous female artists, had a long and successful career including many firsts:
  • 1929: First female artist to become a Dame of the British Empire.
  • 1946: Only British painter at the Nuremberg trials.
  • 1914-1945: Only female war artist commissioned in both World Wars.
  • 1936: The first woman elected to full membership of the Royal Academy.
  • 1965: First large retrospective exhibition at the Royal Academy for a woman in 1965.
  • was the first for a woman.

Notable art works by Dame Laura Knight (née Johnson) feature ballet, Gypsies and circus performers in and around London along with The Nuremberg Trial (1946).

Krassner, Lenore “Lee”American (USA)19081994Abstract Expressionism, Modern Art.Notable art works by Lenore Lee Krassner:
  • Seated Nude (1940).
  • Rising Green (1972).
  • Night Creatures (1965).
  • Summer Play (1962).
  • The Sun Woman II (1958).
  • Shellflower (1947).
  • Number 3 (1951) untitled.
  • Hieroglyphs No. 12 (1969).
  • Cool White (1959).
  • Gaea (1966).
Le Brun, Élisabeth Louise VigéeFrench17551842Rococo, Neoclassicism, Renaissance.Notable art works by Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun, aka Madame Lebrun:
  • Portrait of Marie Antoinette (1783).
  • Marie-Antoinette de Lorraine-Habsbourg, queen of France, and her children (1787).
  • Self-portrait in a Straw Hat (1782).
  • Madame Grand (1783).
  • Marie-Antoinette, Queen of France (1755-1793) (1783).
  • Self-portrait with Her Daughter, Julie (1786).
  • Hyacinthe-Gabrielle Roland (1791).
  • Portrait of Madame du Barry (1781).
  • Portrait of Anna Pitt as Hebe (1792).
  • Madame d’Aguesseau de Fresnes (1789).
  • The Duchess de Polignac (1783).
Münter, GabrieleGerman18771962Expressionism, Blauer Reiter member.Notable art works by Gabriele Münter who was a founding member of Der Blaue Reiter expressionist art group:
  • Jawlensky and Werefkin (1909).
  • Mai-Abend in Stockholm / May Evening in Stockholm (1916).
  • The Russian House (1931).
  • Breakfast of the Birds (1934).
Mitchell, Joan
American (USA)19251992Abstract expressionism, Modern art.Notable art works by printer and painter Joan Mitchell who was a second generation American abstract expressionist and leading artist in the New York School:
  • City Landscape (1955).
  • Salut Tom (1979).
  • George Went Swimming at Barnes Hole, but It Got Too Cold (1957).
  • Tilleul (1978).
  • Edrita Fried (1981).
  • My Landscape II (1967).
  • Heel, Sit, Stay (1977).
  • Sunflower III (1969).
  • Girolata (1964).
  • Blue Territory (1972).
Modersohn-Becker, PaulaGerman18761907Expressionism.Notable art works by Paula Modersohn-Becker acknowledged as the first female painter to paint nude self-portraits. Paula tragically died after the birth of her daughter Mathilde from an embolism aged 31:
  • Elsbeth in the Garden (1902).
  • Child on a Cushion (1904).
  • Still Life with Pumpkin (1905).
  • Old Woman in the Garden (1906).
  • Still Life with Fish Bowl (1906).
  • The Good Samaritan (1907).
Morisot, BertheFrench18411895Impressionism, Modern art, Realism, member of The Impressionists.Notable art works by painter Berthe Morisot, described by French art historian Henri Focillon in 1928, along with Mary Cassatt and Marie Bracquemond, as one of “les trois grandes dames” of impressionism:
  • The Cradle (1872).
  • Woman at Her Toilette (1880).
  • The Harbor at Lorient (869).
  • Eugène Manet on the Isle of Wight (1875).
  • The Mother and Sister of the Artist (1870).
  • The Artist’s Sister at a Window (1869).
  • Julie Daydreaming (1894).
  • Hanging the Laundry out to Dry (1875).
  • The Garden at Bougival (1884).
  • Girl in a Boat with Geese (1889).
O’Keeffe, Georgia TottoAmerican18871986American Modernism.Notable art works by Georgia Totto O’Keeffe aka the “Mother of American modernism”. Famous for paintings of New York skyscrapers, large flowers and New Mexico landscapes:
  • Sky Above Clouds IV (1965).
  • Jimson Weed (1936).
  • Red Canna (1923).
  • Blue and Green Music (1921).
  • Music Pink and Blue (1918).
Riley, BridgetBritish1931Op art, hard-edge painting, pointillism, contemporary art, abstract art, modern art.Notable art works by Bridget Riley who is a leading exponent of op art, optical art featuring optical illusions:
  • Movement in Squares (1961).
  • Cataract 3 (1967).
  • Blaze 1 (1962).
  • Black to White Disks (1952).
  • Two Blues (2003).
  • Fission (1963).
  • Untitled (1966) a winged curve.
  • Fragment 2 (1965).
  • Arrest 1 (1965).
Werefkin, Marianne vonRussian, German, Swiss
18601938Expressionist painter.Notable art works by Marianne von Werefkin. Marianne was a member of Munich based Der Blaue Reiter art group also known as the “Russian Rembrandt”:
  • Founder of the “pink salon” in Munich: Autumn (1907).
  • The Dancer Sacharoff (1909).
  • Ice Skater (1911).
  • La Bise (1917).
  • La Famiglia (1921).
Whiteread, RachelBritish, English1963Contemporary sculptor.Notable art works by Rachel Whiteread CBE was the first woman to win the annual Turner Prize in 1993:
  • Torso (1991).
  • House (1993).
  • Orange Bath (1996).
Kusama, YayoiJapanese1929Contemporary art, Pop art, Minimalism, Feminist art.Notable art works by Yayoi Kusama, one of Japan’s most famous female artists often called “the princess of polka dots”:
  • Waves (1953).
  • Infinity Mirror Room (1965).
  • Pumpkin (1983).
  • Dandelions (1985).
  • Waves on the Hudson River (1988).
  • Ready to Blossom in the Morning (1989).
  • Watching the Sea (1989).
  • Mushrooms (1995).
  • Narcissus Garden (1996).
  • Repetitive Vision (1996).
  • Dots Obsession (2003).
  • Ascension of Polka Dots (2006).

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