Trending Artists of the 17th Century | Summary and Q&A

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July 12, 2018
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The Art Assignment
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Trending Artists of the 17th Century

TL;DR

Despite talent, success in the art world is not guaranteed, as seen through the fluctuating fame of 17th century artist Artemesia Gentileschi and the changing tides of recognition for underrepresented artists throughout history.

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Key Insights

  • 🌍 Talent does not always lead to success in the art world, which is not a meritocracy.
  • 🧑‍🏭 Historical and societal factors heavily influence an artist's recognition and fame.
  • 🧑‍🎨 The feminist critique of art history in the 1960s and 70s led to a resurgence of recognition for underrepresented artists.
  • 🌍 Fame in the art world can be fickle and ephemeral, with trends and popularities constantly shifting.
  • 🥰 The internet and online platforms have the potential to reshape the art historical canon but their impact is still uncertain.
  • 🫵 The Google Books Ngram viewer offers a glimpse into the writing and rewriting of histories and the power of collective attention and interest.
  • 👨‍🔬 Our actions, such as what we write, pay attention to, and search for, shape the canon and the future recognition of artists.

Transcript

One of the many injustices of creative work is that talent does not always lead to success. The world of art is by no means a meritocracy. That's why you see work valued for millions that you think you could do yourself. And that's why plenty of super talented artists never get the attention or reward they deserve. But just because you don't get y... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How does the Google Books Ngram viewer illustrate the fluctuating fame of Artemesia Gentileschi?

The Google Books Ngram viewer shows the frequency of Artemesia Gentileschi's name appearing in English language books over time. Despite being a well-known painter in her time, her mentions in books declined for many years until a resurgence in the 1960s.

Q: What led to the feminist critique of art history and the resurgence of recognition for underrepresented artists?

The feminist movement, along with the civil rights, Chicano, and gay rights movements, prompted art historians to question the underrepresentation of women, people of color, and other marginalized groups in art history. This led to a shift in focus and a rediscovery of many artists who had been largely ignored.

Q: How does fame in the art world change over time?

Fame in the art world is not permanent and can fluctuate. Artists who were once popular may be forgotten, while previously overlooked artists may be rediscovered and gain recognition. Fame is influenced by societal trends, cultural shifts, and the changing perspectives of art historians and critics.

Q: How does the internet and Google Trends influence the understanding of artistic fame?

While Google Trends can provide insights into current popular artists and art movements, it is still limited in its ability to reflect major artistic shifts. The internet and online platforms have undoubtedly influenced the writing and rewriting of art histories, but the true impact and significance of these changes are still being debated.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The art world is not a meritocracy, as talent does not always lead to success.

  • The Google Books Ngram viewer reveals the fluctuating fame of Artemesia Gentileschi, a well-known Baroque artist in her time.

  • The feminist critique of art history in the 1960s and 70s led to a resurgence of recognition for underrepresented artists.

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