Women artists have the Medici to “thank”


An AWA event at the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno in Florence

Duclos was a member of Europe’s first drawing academy, founded in Florence with Medici initiative. ”Though women artists were not universally accepted to art academies throughout Europe until the late 1800s, many of Florence’s native women artists gained access to Florence’s academy some hundred years earlier, thanks primarily to Medici liberalism. Giovanna Fratellini (1666–1731) became an active member of the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno in 1706. Violante Siries Cerroti (1709–1783), after studying sculpture in Paris and perfecting her training in Rome, returned to Florence in 1732, the year she was accepted into the academy. Maria Hadfield Cosway (1759–1838), the youngest of our native talents in eighteenth-century Florence, was admitted at the age of nineteen. Irene Parenti Duclos was admitted not only to the academy in Florence, but to the academies in Rome and Bologna.”
Excerpt from ‘Irene Parenti Duclos: A Work Restored, An Artist Revealed. Chapter by Jane Fortune