Even those unfamiliar with the world of painting could probably name at least three famous painters. Some of those names might include Van Gogh, Velázquez, or Goya, for example. But could you name three famous female painters in history?
Just like in other "male-dominated" fields, women painters were often relegated to the background or even rendered invisible, despite using brushes to express themselves, just like their male counterparts. In fact, the talent of many of these female painters was only recognized over time, sometimes even posthumously.
That's why, in this Canvas by Numbers post, we want to pay tribute to not three, but five female painters who, due to their talent equal to or greater than that of men, left an indelible mark on 20th-century painting.
Possibly, the Mexican artist born in the first decade of the 1900s is one of the most well-known painters of the 20th century.
Although her art was labeled as surrealistic, Frida Kahlo said that she was not painting dreams but her own life, a life marked by certain illnesses and the loneliness she suffered as a child.
Some of the most famous works of the Mexican painter, mostly self-portraits, include "The Two Fridas," "Diego and I," "Henry Ford Hospital," and "Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird."
Georgia O’Keeffe, born in 1887 in Wisconsin, is one of the most representative women in American painting. Her main modernist paintings depict landscapes of New Mexico, skyscrapers, and flowers.
O’Keeffe left behind more than 2,000 works, earning her the title of the mother of American modernism. Her notable paintings include "Red Canna," "Abstraction White Rose," "Grey Line With Black, Blue and Yellow," and many others.
Tamara de Lempicka
The next female painter on our list is the Polish artist Tamara de Lempicka.
She was known for her portraits of men and women from high society, especially in her early and mature years. However, her shift towards expressionist painting, which emerged in the first two decades of the 20th century, led the painter to lose prominence on the international scene.
Among her notable paintings are "Self-Portrait," "The Musician," "Girl with Gloves," and "Kizette in Pink."
Hilma af Klint
The Swedish painter Hilma af Klint was the precursor of abstract painting, a title often mistakenly given to Wassily Kandinsky. In fact, this woman painted her first abstract works five years before the Russian artist published "Concerning the Spiritual in Art."
In her last will, Hilma af Klint communicated her wish for her paintings not to be exhibited until at least twenty years after her death, as she believed that her art would not be appreciated by the critics of her time.
Can you imagine what would have happened if this painter had participated in movements and exhibitions?
Helen Frankenthaler was born in New York in 1928 into a fairly well-off family. She was a female painter who was knowledgeable about Picasso's and Pollock's work, even reproducing the latter's technique (abstract expressionism).
The painting that catapulted her to fame as a painter was "Mountains and Sea," which she created in 1952 at the age of 23. Later, starting from 1959, she began to have a more significant presence in international exhibitions, earning various awards and nominations for many others.
She passed away in 2011, leaving us important works of abstract painting such as "Grey Fireworks," "Small's Paradise," and the already mentioned "Mountains and Sea," among others.
Want to find out if you have what it takes to be a painter?
The truth is that few of the great painters in history, whether male or female, had easy beginnings. But through perseverance, they eventually became the artists everyone has heard of, even those previously unfamiliar with the world of art.
Just as a traveler makes their path as they go, a painter creates their painting as they paint, and even more so if they have the little help we offer at Canvas by Numbers. With this help, you can paint a picture from scratch, even if you have no knowledge of painting.
This help is the paint by numbers, a system that involves applying the corresponding paint to the numbered area of the canvas. Step by step, stroke by stroke, you'll see the picture appear before your eyes.
Below, we've listed our top collections of paintings, divided by themes. Discover your favorite and get started!
Paintings for Beginners
The perfect collection for those picking up a paintbrush for the first time.
"Dog Lying in the Snow" by Franz Marc
Paint your own landscape and travel without leaving home while gazing at it!
"Farm in Brittany" by Paul Gaugin
"The Harvest" by Vincent Van Gogh
"Le bras de Jeufosse" by Claude Monet
Step into the shoes of the most famous painters by reproducing their works.
"Impression, Sunrise" by Claude Monet
"Venus" by Sandro Botticelli
"Mother and Child" by Gustav Klimt
Can't find the painting that inspires you? Take a look at our complete collection here!