We can explore the theory that art mimics life through many examples, but there is something very interesting revealed by looking at things in a clever way.

Image: A digital compilaiton of women in art over 500 years

Source: Artido

Once again, EWC celebrates the ingenious work of a thought leader in videography who gives us a mesmerizing vantage point. Women’s portraits from the year 1470 to 1951.

Thank you to the absolutely brilliant digital artist Philip Scott Johnson. Take a look…

What a fantastic project. How does this strike you?

If you take these works, largely painted by men, as a whole like this, is there a theme that makes an impression on you?

I suppose we might each find our own takeaway message in the collection when presented to us like this. And that is the beauty of great art: it touches a chord in most and is at the same time uniquely personal.

Some might say that views like this they notice a general reverence for women, an attempt to capture the mystery of a woman’s moods, or a fascination with the contentment that women over the ages have had to muster. I was taken aback by the lack of joy, pride, and power in all this portraiture.

All these women look pensive, shy, resigned, serene, sweet, submissive, sexy, but there are only a few images that convey the attributes we are encouraging in our daughters and granddaughters to display these days, like courage, confidence, assertiveness, and leadership.

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Run through the video again if you have a moment. See what strikes you.

That’s the wonder of great art: you will see something I completely missed and vice versa.

In any case, it’s fair to say that we can definitely look forward to a day when another artist can amass a collection of artwork after 1951 to the present, where women are obviously the master of their circumstances. The past 60 years have seen women’s roles in culture change more than any time in human history.

Oh! And if you’d like to learn more about the paintings in the video, they are identified at Bell Book and Candle Publications.

Stay open, curious, and hopeful!

~ Dr. Lynda

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  1. “500 Years of Female Portraits in Western Art.” Vimeo. Philip Scott Johnson, 2 Aug. 2008. Web. 27 Sept. 2016. <https://vimeo.com/1456037>.

Dr. Lynda is a dentist, artist, global traveler, and philanthropist who looks for potential and shares it with the world. Hear her latest conversations with thought leaders on the Conspiracy of Goodness Podcast--new episodes every Wednesday!