Anaxandra – fl. 220s BCE – Greece

Ancient Greece

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Like her predecessor, Timarete, Anaxandra learned the art of painting from her father and also worked as his assistant, crushing dyes to mix his paints.

We know that Anaxandra’s father, Nealkes, painted scenes from mythology and that his daughter learned his trade – but apart from these few snatches of information, we know nothing.

Nonetheless, the thought of a female artist clearly captured the imaginations of many historians. She is mentioned by Clement of Alexandria 400 years after her death, in a section of his book entitled “Women as Well as Men Capable of Perfection“. Clement cites a lost work of the Hellenistic scholar Didymus Chalcenterus (1st century BC) as his source.

Anaxandra is used again as an example of female talent in Lucrezia Marinella’s 16th Century feminist argument: The Nobility and Excellence of Women and the Defects and Vices of Men.

Her name was given by the International Astronomical Union in 1994 to a large 20 km diameter crater on Venus to commemorate the artist.


References:

Women Artists in All Ages and Countries – Elizabeth Fries Ellet

The Nobility and Excellence of Women and the defects and Vices of MenLucrezia Marinella, Anne Dunhill

On Wikipedia:

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