Women In The Arts - Part II

In the second part of our Women in the Arts blog series we wanted to explore women who were instrumental in early Modern Art and how their roles in the modern world shaped the art of the 20th Century. With a new century bringing slightly more accepting ways of thinking, women artists contributed to a new movement known as ‘Modern Art’, by challenging tradition and claiming their own space in the world.

As was the case with our previous instalment, this blog has been inspired by Katy Hessel’s book ‘The Story Of Art Without Men’, which has encouraged us to delve into a broad array of women artists and offer some of their stunning works to the public.


A classic painting by Georgia O'Keeffe titled 'Lake George Reflection' showing an abstract scene painted using pinks, blues and greens.


This post shares brief stories into 6 more of the women artists we have available on our website and will include insights into what inspired them, what their life experiences were like, and how their works impacted art as it is today. By choosing to display women artists in your home, you can help to raise awareness of the crucial role women have played in art history, and help to challenge outdated gender inequality in the creative world.

Read our first post in this mini-series to learn more about Women in the Arts dated pre-20th Century that we offer on our website by checking out our Studio Blog, or continue reading to find out who came next.


Berthe Morisot

Berthe Morisot (1841 - 1895) was a founding member of the Impressionist movement who took full advantage of capturing her personal experiences and perspectives of domestic life, in which female Impressionists were confined to do.

Morisot helped to shape Impressionism with her intimate glimpses into contemporary life, and she defied social norms by becoming one of the most influential artists in the movement. During her lifetime, she received acclaim from her peers, which was extremely rare for a woman during this time in history to be recognised for the work she created.



Painting by Berthe Morisot titled 'Peonies' showing delicate pink peonies in a glass vase on a table. The art print is framed in a white frame and sits on a shelf.


Although she lived toward the latter half of the 19th-Century, Morisot was a trailblazer who paved the way for the women artists that would explore gender, queer identities and much more in the 20th-century. The praise Morisot gained was inspirational for women artists and as roles shifted during the early 20th-Century, women aspired to share their own experiences through their artworks and continued telling stories through the female gaze as Berthe Morisot had done throughout her works. She documented modernity and the changes women were being opened up to.

Browse Berthe Morisot art prints, Impressionist art, classic paintings, and other Impressionism on our website.

Ethel Reed

Ethel Reed (1874 - 1912) was an American graphic artist who made a name for herself during the poster craze of the 1890s, becoming one of the most talented artists of that era. She challenged societal norms by living as an independent woman, supporting herself through her artistic talents.

Although Reed died before she turned 40 years old, she became a well-known artist in her own right. In modern discourse, she has been noted for not being afraid to show her sensual side through her artwork, however this was often not apparent to viewers at the time. ARTnews describes this perfectly:

“Reed was clever, though, making sure to conceal in public the very thing which animate her work: a powerful sensuality. Papers of the time described her as demure and beautiful, with eyes seemingly perpetually downcast—in short, a perfect lady.”


Pierre Puvis De Chavannes

Yellow vintage poster print designed by Ethel Reed showing flowers, with the writing "Pierre Puvis De Chavannes - A Sketch - Lily Lewis Rood - L.Prang & Company - Boston"


Many of her vintage posters depict darker aspects of Reed’s life. She was an opium addict and some of her designs depict young women and poppies - an eerie representation of her short life. Ethel Reed is considered one of the more mysterious artists from the early 20th-Century, with her later years difficult to trace before being cut short through alcoholism and drug addiction. Her work is often described as “extraordinary but brief” and her posters now exhibited all around the world.

Browse Ethel Reed’s posters, vintage art prints, Modern Art prints and art deco inspired artwork on our website.


Julie De Graag

Julie De Graag (1877 - 1924), born Anna Julia de Graag, was a Dutch artist whose work focused on floral themes, studies of animals, portraits, and views of villages. Her education in the latter half of the 19th-Century saw her a part of a class consisting solely of women at Royal Academy of Fine Arts in The Hague.

She established herself as an independent artist and developed her skills using embroidery, painting and woodcut. De Graag used the end grain of wood for her famous woodcuts, which is much more difficult to work with than longitudinal wood but produces much finer printings. This was a craft that she perfected and excelled at, solidifying her role in the Art Nouveau movement.


Studies of Wasps

Julie De Graag’s vintage Dutch painting 'Studies of Wasps’ showing 5 brightly coloured wasps on an off-white background


Sadly, due to a fire that broke out in 1908 at the farm where she had established her workshop, a large number of her works were destroyed. Her surviving works are displayed in collections in museums and art galleries around the world.

Browse our collection of Julie De Graag art prints and create your own gallery wall, see more woodcut art prints, eco-friendly wall art and Julie De Graag framed artwork on our website.

Marie Spartali Stillman

Marie Spartali Stillman (1844 - 1927) began as a model, sitting for Pre-Raphaelite artists, and then went on to become a successful artist in her own right. It was during her modelling that she expressed the desire to paint, going on to establish herself as a part of the second generation of the Pre-Raphaelite movement.

Stillman depicted women through a female-lens in her works, challenging the notion of ‘women as objects’ and giving her subjects an active role in her watercolour paintings - showing women writing, playing instruments, and reading.



 A classic Pre-Raphaelite painting by Marie Spartali Stillman titled 'Beatrice', showing a woman reading a book - challenging the idea of 'woman-as-object'.


Stillman had one of the longest running careers in the Pre-Raphaelite movement. She produced over 150 works and had a career spanning sixty years, which contributed to the respect she gained as a painter and the praise she received from other artists of the time, such as Dante Gabriel Rossetti. 

Browse Marie Stillman art prints, romantic artwork, Marie Spartali Stillman prints and watercolour wall art on our website.

Georgia O'Keeffe

Georgia O’Keeffe (1887 - 1986) was a pioneering artist of the 20th-century and one of the most significant contributors to modern art. She remarkably stuck to her own vision and style, remaining completely independent of changing trends and artistic movements, whilst gaining the title ‘Mother of American Modernism’.

O’Keeffe’s style has regularly been discussed, with many theorising that the intricate close-up paintings of flowers symbolise the female body, sexuality and intimacy - something that she consistently denied. 


Blue and Green Music

A classic abstract work titled 'Blue and Green Music' by Georgia O'Keeffe.

It was through Georgia O’Keeffe’s exploration and growth as an artist that she helped to create the American Modernism movement and fully establish herself as one of the widely-celebrated artists of the 20th-century.

Browse Georgia O’Keeffe wall art, flower art prints, colourful wall prints and Modern Art on our website.

Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo (1907 - 1954) is celebrated in Mexico for her attention to Mexican and Indigenous cultures in her artworks. Kahlo is also heralded by feminists for her depiction of the female form. Her paintings push boundaries and share the often painful experiences of women through her depictions of femininity, childbirth and miscarriage.

As a teenager, Kalho almost died as a result of a bus accident, which left her with multiple broken and fractured bones, leading to chronic pain being featured in Kahlo’s works. Her emotional pain also influenced her stark paintings, which reflected her rage, fury and other strong emotions caused by her turbulent relationship with her husband and her feelings toward the patriarchy.


The Love Embrace 

Frida Kahlo's classic oil-on-canvas painting titled 'The Love Embrace'.


Although Frida Kahlo’s paintings were typically of a political and unconventional nature, it wasn’t until the 1980s that the powerful messages they held were truly respected. It is theorised that this was due to Kahlo’s gender, with her artwork initially being seen as more naive than her male counterparts. Recognition after her death has included the Tate Modern commenting that Frida Kahlo is “one of the most significant artists of the twentieth century” firmly cementing her importance in Modern Art.

Browse Frida Kahlo art prints, Mexican wall art, Indigenous artwork, and feminist prints on our website.

Pathos Studio

Here at Pathos Studio we aim to share prints featuring stunning works from artists of all backgrounds. By putting together this mini-series of blog posts sharing the names and stories of the women artists in our collection, we hope that perhaps you have found a new favourite to add to your home. Supporting artists that are underrepresented is something we are passionate about, whether that be through inequalities throughout history or them being overshadowed by household names, we believe they deserve to be appreciated. 

We offer a wide selection of prints from the artists mentioned above and many, many more for you to display proudly in your home or gift to loved ones. Discover art printed on our eco-friendly textured cotton fine art paper with options to have our pieces ready-framed in bespoke wooden frames.

Browse our Women In The Arts Collection now!


Berthe Morisot's classic painting titled 'Dans Le Parc'


If you’ve enjoyed learning about some of the fantastic women artists from history, we highly recommend picking up a copy of Katy Hessel’s knowledgeable book ‘The Story Of Art Without Men' to learn more. Follow Katy Hessel’s page on Instagram @thegreatwomenartists

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