Shall we have a little Monday knitspiration? Will you indulge me for a brief history lesson?
I love those rich tones, warm and deep.
What would you make?
Our inspirational painting speaks to me because it’s something rarely acknowledged in history: a portrait of a woman whose story was told by a woman and who was painted by a woman. All were notable figures in their day, but all have been largely ignored by history. It’s vital to remember the forgotten past.
The subject of the painting is Novella d’Andrea, a legal scholar in the early 1300s. She was educated by her father, a professor of law. When he fell ill, she is said to have taken over his lectures, teaching from behind a curtain lest her beauty distract the students.
Her story is known because of Christine de Pisan, a medieval author who lived around 1400. The portrait was painted by Marie-Éléonore Godefroid, a French artist active in the early 1800s. All three of these ladies did not fit the traditional mold of an artist. All three still gained success during their lifetimes. All three were left by the wayside after their deaths. In the last few decades, they’ve been discovered again.
As a crafter, it is satisfying to see the contributions of artists, authors, and teachers outside the mainstream recognized. Many of us do not fit the stereotypical picture of needlecrafters or perhaps have come to our craft through non-traditional means. Most of us do not have the recognition of the industry. However, we all have an important part to play in keeping the art and story of our craft alive. Each new pattern or technique you share, no matter how complex or simple, enriches us all.
Let’s all welcome others into the craft. Spread the word. Keep our art and history alive.
Craft on, friends.