Who decides which artists are remembered and which are forgotten? With only a small fraction of the art in museums by women, efforts are being made, at the Venice Biennale and further afield, to change long-standing narratives.
Inside the Church of San Marziale, beside a canal in central Venice, specialist art handlers are high up on scaffolding above one of the church’s second altars, trying to tease out two canvases that have been nailed to the wall of the church for several hundred years.
The paintings, which are believed to date from the late 1720s or early 1730s, are by a woman artist called Giulia Lama. She may have been the first female artist in Venice to produce major commissions for churches. The daughter of an artist, she never married and was a mathematician and a published poet.
At the time she was dismissed by some of her male contemporaries. So much so that in 1728, an abbot and man of science, Antonio Conti, wrote: “The poor girl is persecuted by painters, but her virtues triumph over her enemies.”
According to some reports, the other artists and critics at the time focused on what they decided were her unremarkable, almost unappealing physical attributes – they asked how a woman of such prosaic appearance could produce such sophisticated paintings. More
A woman who took up running after she lost her left leg to cancer has passed the Guinness World Record for most consecutive marathons.
Jacky Hunt-Broersma, 46, has run 26.2-miles every day since mid-January, normally taking around five hours.
On Saturday, she completed her 104th consecutive marathon in as many days – an achievement she expects to be certified by Guinness World Records.
A spokesperson said certifying the record would take around three months.
Waking up on Sunday – a day off at long last – was a bizarre experience for Jacky.
“Part of me was really happy to be done,” she tells the BBC from her home in Arizona. “And the other part kept thinking I need to go running.”
Her body is also recovering from the record-chasing effort, despite having stopped. “I feel tighter than I have the whole 104 marathons,” she admits.
But Jacky – who was born and raised in South Africa, and has also lived in England and the Netherlands – is grateful. Because running has given her the confidence she was afraid she would never regain. More
The Beijing Winter Olympics will be the most gender-equal Games ever, data experts say.
Gracenote says the proportion of events in which women can compete will increase for the 11th successive Games – with 52.75% of events for men and 47.25% for women.
Women will have nearly four times as many events to participate in as they did in 1980.
The Games take place from 4-20 February.
The first Games in Chamonix, France in 1924 had only two events which women could participate – the figure skating mixed pairs competition and the ladies’ singles – but 14 events for men, and had a gender gap of 81.3%.
That gap has now declined to 5.5% for Beijing, with 12 of the 15 sports now gender-equal. Nordic combined is the only remaining sport with no female participation.