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The century of Eve: between production and representation of women in the enlightenment Europe

Grant number: 21/02856-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2022
Effective date (End): November 30, 2025
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History - Modern and Contemporary History
Principal Investigator:Laura de Mello e Souza
Grantee:Maria Angélica Beghini Morales
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil

Abstract

This work aims to understand the dimensions of the female intellectual influence in artistic and cultural circuits during the Enlightenment in Europe, its networks and circulation ways, starting from the analysis of visual and written sources of the period. The most recent historiography has emphasized that, even if it was relatively brief, the power exercised by women in the field of culture can be understood as an indicator of a path to freedom and emancipation - although, in many cases, these women have been replaced in this position by the very intellectual man figure that they had helped to establish. Seeking to build a bridge between this theme and the Brazilian context, we will focus our analysis on two women of letters portraits which are part of the Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP) collection: Portrait of Elisabeth-Sophie-Constance of Lowendahl, countess of Turpin de Crissé, (1775-1785) by Jean Honoré Fragonard, and the Self-Portrait of Leonor de Almeida Portugal de Lorena e Lencastre, "Alcipe", (1787-1790), combining the study and interpretation of these works with the analysis of writings about art produced by other women contemporary with the production of those paintings. With special attention to France and Portugal in the second half of the 18th century - space-time cut proposed by our visual sources and of extreme interest in the scope of the circulation of ideas -, we will focus on this documentation, seeking to elucidate the relationship between letters and arts in these two contexts, their influences and ways of writings circulations, aesthetic forms and people. We will also focus on the these female figures invisibility from the perspective of gender studies and women's history. We also intend to investigate the history of these paintings, their acquisition and forms of exhibition throughout the history of MASP. Finally, we will work with the hypothesis that these ways of representing women will be altered and transformed by an intellectual and literate female production: which means there is a change in the patterns of the traditional portraiture of women in works that have this female intellectual production as a backdrop, inserted in a complex and often contradictory way in the so-called "century of freedom". (AU)

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