Det ambivalenta perspektivet : Eva Bonnier och Hanna Hirsch-Pauli i 1880-talets konstliv
Sammanfattning: This dissertation focuses on two Swedish artists, Eva Bonnier (1857-1909) and Hanna Hirsch-Pauli (1864-1940) and their relationship to the educational system, artistic trends and exhibitions of the 1880's. The aim of the thesis is to re-assess history from a feminist perspective and change the prevalent modernist art history view of the period.Eva Bonnier and Hanna Hirsch-Pauli should be classified primarily as portrait painters and the emphasis is on that part of their production. The thesis shows how significant their contribution was, for in their pictures can be seen discerning portrayals of their own contemporaries. They were Juste-milieu-painters, as most of their Nordic colleagues, construing their pictures from a realist perspective, but were reluctant to give up their academic training altogether. The basis of the thesis is the analysis of the position taken by Eva Bonnier and Hanna Hirsch-Pauli in relation to contemporary views on women artists. Working from different positions, both showed an ambiguity towards the role of the female artist and the bourgeois norm of "femininity". The portrait by Hanna Hirsch-Pauli of the Finnish artist, Venny Soldan, and Eva Bonnier's interiors from her own studio show how complicated it was for women artists to conform to the male tradition. Their milieu-portraits expose complex relationships between mother/daughter, sister/brother, wife/husband and mother/son. In their pictures, the private sphere has connotations at variance with those advanced by the prevalent ideology, to secure the home asthe site of femininity. The most popular portraitists of the period, were those who confirmed and fullfilled the aims and desires of the bourgeoisie and these were the portraits which later became normative.The 1880's were years of expansion for Nordic women artists but at the turn of the century, there was a backlash and women's emancipation was thwarted, with widespread fear for the "New Woman". Eva Bonnier's lack of professional identity was then reinforced and she chose to put aside her brushes. Hanna Hirsch-Pauli also came to pay a high price for her position, as her ambiguous perspective came to inhibit her artistic output, which was very small, despite a career spanning more than six decades.
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