Lavinia FONTANA<br/>
<em>Mystic marriage of Saint Catherine</em> (1574-1577) <!-- () --><br />

oil on copper<br />
48.7 x 36.6 cm<br />
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne<br />
Felton Bequest, 2021<br />
2021.558<br />

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Collection

Observations: Women in Art and Design History

A landmark year-long online seminar series, Observations, examines the contributions of women to art and design history. Named after English artist Mary Beale’s 1633 text Observations by MB, which is widely recognised as the first manuscript on painting written by a woman artist, the NGV-curated series features leading historians, writers and curators from around the world. Experts will explore the work of some of the most significant women in art and design; and the contexts, frameworks and networks that both supported and challenged their respective practices.

At the centre of the series is the NGV’s milestone acquisition of Mystic marriage of St Catherine (1574-1577) by Italian artist Lavinia Fontana, who is regarded as the first professional woman painter in Western art history. Now the oldest painting by a named woman artist in the NGV Collection, Mystic marriage of St Catherine is the only work by Fontana in an Australian institution.

The Observations program will be offered as online seminar streams delivered throughout 2022, accompanied by live events. Details of each online seminar and booking information below.

NGV Members and educators receive discounted tickets to individual seminars and the series.

Collection, women in art and design history

NGV is committed to redressing historical gender biases and imbalances and generating new knowledge about traditionally under-represented or maginalised artists. This dedicated microsite brings together research, writing and programs offering perspectives on the NGV’s collection of women artists, as well as works of art and design that engage with gender as a theme.