In studying the subject of this book I have found the names of more than a thousand women whose attainments in the Fine Arts—in various countries and at different periods of time before the middle of the nineteenth century—entitle them to honorable mention as artists, and I doubt not that an exhaustive search would largely increase this number. The stories of many of these women have been written with more or less detail, while of others we know little more than their names and the titles of a few of their works; but even our scanty knowledge of them is of value.
Of the army of women artists of the last century it is not yet possible to speak with judgment and justice, although many have executed works of which all women may be proud.
We have some knowledge of women artists in ancient days. Few stories of that time are so authentic as that of Kora, who made the design for the first bas-relief, in the city of Sicyonia, in the seventh century B. C. We have the names of other Greek women artists of the centuries immediately preceding and following the Christian era, but we know little of their lives and works.