Cover image for Representing women
Representing women
Nochlin, Linda.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
London : Thames & Hudson, 1999.
Physical Description:
272 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ND1460.W65 N63 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Women - as warriors, workers, mothers, sensual women, even absent mothers - haunt 19th- and 20th-century Western painting. This text brings together Linda Nochlin's most important and pioneering writings on the subject, as she considers work by Miller, Delacroix, Courbet, Degas, Seurat, Cassatt and Kollwitz, among many others. In her partly autobiographical, extended introduction, she argues for the honest virtues of an art history which rejects methodological assumptions, and for art historians who investigate the work before their eyes while focusing on its subject matter, informed by a sensitivity to its feminist spirit.

Author Notes

Linda Nochlin was born Linda Natalie Weinberg in Brooklyn, New York on January 30, 1931. She graduated from Vassar College in 1951 with a major in philosophy and a double minor in Greek and art history. She received a master's degree in 17th-century English literature at Columbia University and a doctorate at the New York University Institute of Fine Arts. She went on to teach at Vassar College, the Graduate Center in Manhattan, Stanford University, Williams College, Yale University, and New York University Institute of Fine Arts, where she taught from 1992 until retiring in 2013.

Nochlin was an art historian whose feminist approach permanently altered her field. She wrote several books including Realism, Gustave Courbet: A Study of Style and Society, and Misère: Representations of Misery in 19th-Century Art. She spent lots of time writing essays for magazines including The Art Bulletin, Art in America, and ARTnews. Her essay collections included The Politics of Vision: Essays on Nineteenth Century Art and Society; Women, Art and Power; and Representing Women. She also co-edited books including Woman as Sex Object: Studies in Erotic Art, 1730-1970 with Thomas B. Hess and The Jew in the Text: Modernity and the Construction of Identity with Tamar Garb. She died from cancer on October 29, 2017 at the age of 86.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Continuing a current trend in self-reflexive works cloaked in art history, Nochlin (New York Univ.) reprints a selection of lectures and previously published essays already familiar to scholars. However, this format will be useful for students. Of considerable interest to educators is a philosophical consideration of research and methodology in her introduction. Nochlin, a self-described "ad-hoc" art historian, prefers Levi-Strauss's "bricolage" approach: the construction of method in light of material and argument. Nochlin's most important contribution has been the "recovery" of once "lost" great women artists--a chronology of the transformation of her scholarship and teaching as a result of her "discovery" of feminism is included in the introduction. The essays have not been modified from their original form, in concordance with Nochlin's wish to "preserve an old text's integrity as a testimony to what one thought . . . at the time it was written." Included are "Gericault: The Absence of Women," "The Image of the Working Woman," "Courbet's Real Allegory: Rereading The Painter's Studio," "Degas and the Subversion of the Family," "Mary Cassatt's Modernity," "Body Politics: Seurat's Poseuses," and "The Myth of the Woman Warrior." General readers; undergraduates through faculty. E. K. Menon; Minnesota State University, Mankato