On Famous Women, 1400 – 1700

Event Date: 

Saturday, February 25, 2023 - 12:00am to Sunday, May 7, 2023 - 12:00am

Event Date Details: 

Opening reception:
Saturday, February 25



This exhibition celebrates illustrious women through paintings, engravings, and Renaissance portrait medals from the 15th through 17th centuries. From the biblical heroine Bathsheba whose actions secured the Israelite throne for her son Solomon, to Grand Duchess and co-regent of Tuscany Christina of Lorraine—noted patron of science who supported Galileo—and various noblewomen and ordinary citizens, the power and influence of women affected all of court and society. 

The presentation of works from the AD&A Museum’s permanent collections, including the recently gifted painting of Bathsheba from William and Nyna Mahan, is inspired by and expands upon Giovanni Boccaccio’s On Famous Women (1361–62), the first collection of biographies devoted exclusively to women in Western literature.

On Famous Women, 1400–1700 is organized by the AD&A Museum, and curated by guest curator Sophia Quach McCabe, PhD.

Image: Dutch, 17th century, Bathsheba pleading before the old David to make Solomon his successor, ca. 1635. Oil on canvas, 60 x 50 in. (framed). Gift of William and Nyna Mahan, 2022.001.001. Art, Design & Architecture Museum, UC Santa Barbara.

Photography: Ruben Diaz