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Modern Mistresses on the Old Masters: nineteenth-century women writers on western European art – their networks and influence

Partner: National Gallery 
Student: Maria Alambritis
Supervisors: Professor Hilary Fraser and Dr Susanna Avery-Quash (National Gallery)
Project title: Modern Mistresses on the Old Masters: nineteenth-century women writers on western European art – their networks and influence

This research project explores the role of women as disseminators of knowledge about the Old Masters. Focusing especially on the National Gallery, the understudied critical and art-historical writings of nineteenth-century women will be examined for their influence and contribution to the collecting, scholarship and reception of Old Masters in the Gallery’s collection. Considering the networks by which these women were connected to the Gallery, the variety of genres they employed in their writing and the role of the penny press in widening access to such artworks, this project seeks to bring a new understanding of women’s contributions and importance to the development of art history and knowledge about the Old Masters during the nineteenth century.

Image: Giuseppe Gabrielli, Room 32 in the National Gallery, London, 1886, Government Art Collection.