“Why have there been no great women artists?” the feminist art historian Linda Nochlin famously asked in her landmark 1971 essay. The point was of course that there had been, but centuries of misogyny in the art world meant if you looked at museum collections and exhibition programmes you really wouldn’t know it. Things are still far from perfect but a number of recent exhibitions have been giving some truly great artists their long overdue public recognition.
Clara Peeters, whose beautifully rendered still lifes have beguiled visitors at the Rockox House in Antwerp is one such artist who is about to emerge from under the radar in quite spectacular fashion. When the show transfers to the Prado in Madrid in late October she will become, somewhat astonishingly, the first female artist to be given a solo show there.