Artemisia Gentileschi & Women Artists from the Renaissance to the 20th Century

Ref: C2344411

How Artemisia Gentileschi became established as a painter in the 17th century and why she and other great women artists were disregarded for centuries until they began to be rediscovered in the 20th century. Aspiring women artists experienced prejudice and barriers to studying art and yet some managed to stand out as great painters when most artists were men and it was generally believed that women were not capable of producing great art. A lack of equality of opportunity and the social conventions of the times were major obstacles. Despite all this, many women produced very fine work and in the 20th century, art historians finally began to recognise the value of their art.

Course aim

To look at the life and work of Artemisia Gentileschi and some of the many other women painters who have been unfairly overlooked in art history.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • You will need your own personal email address so that you’re able to login to the WEA’s digital learning platform: WEA Canvas. You will need to be able to understand how to follow URL links to pages on the internet. If you want to understand more about Canvas please visit:
  • You will need to be able to follow links to join our WEA live video learning platform: WEA Zoom. If you’d like to understand more about our video learning platform, Zoom please visit: and
  • This course will incorporate live lectures in an online webinar video learning platform. You will need to be able to access the internet on a device with speakers or earphones. There will be opportunities to take part in discussions and chats. How to use Zoom – please visit:

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Summarise the obstacles facing women artists in the 16th to the 19th centuries.
  • Outline some ways in which some women artists, including Gentileschi, produced truly groundbreaking work.
  • Suggest reasons why women artists from the past finally began to be recognised in the 20th century.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas, will be used to provide resources, support lessons and provide learner feedback. Most of the session will be delivered by Zoom. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit:

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be able to contribute during the Zoom presentation and through online discussion in Canvas, and your tutor will provide feedback.

What else do I need to know?

  • What you need: You will need an internet connection, speakers, a microphone and a webcam so that you can use our video learning platform, Zoom. If you’d like to understand more Zoom please visit:
  • You will also need access to the internet outside of your sessions. You could do this using a smart phone, tablet, laptop or a desktop computer (at home or through a library etc.).
  • Nothing else is needed
  • It is preferable if you have a webcam to attend the Zoom session. You will definitely need an internet connection, speakers and a microphone.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here

Download full course information sheet

Artemisia Gentileschi & Women Artists from the Renaissance to the 20th Century


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2020
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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