Author(s): Karin Sagner
At the close of the eighteenth century, women began to discover a new sense of freedom, adventure, and self-determination, simply by walking in public unaccompanied. Previously, solitary walks by women were considered unseemly. An unaccompanied hike in the country was beyond imagination; to promenade by oneself on city boulevards was unthinkable. This book features evocative paintings of women doing just that, by a range of artists, from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth century, among them British portraitist Thomas Gainsborough, the scandalous Gustave Courbet, Impressionist Gustave Caillebotte, American masters Winslow Homer and John Singer Sargent, and Nabi artist Felix Vallotton. With paintings act her guide, Karin Sagner takes us on a visual journey through this vital yet oft-overlooked aspect of women's emancipation, from the promenades of the nobility to everyday walks in the city, on gentle strolls in the country or hikes up mountain summits. Quotes by luminaries like the Marquise de Sevigne, Jane Austen, and Simone de Beauvoir gracefully support her points. A thoughtful gift for graduates, teachers, or Mother's Day, this subtle but profound book is not only an illuminating history but a beautiful art historical survey and an inspirational guide.
Karin Sagner is an art historian, writer, and curator. She has worked at the Bavarian State Paintings Collections in Munich and has published several books on French and German art of the 19th and 20th centuries. Her previous titles include Beautiful Women (2011) and Renoir and His Women (2012), both published in German by Elisabeth Sandmann Verlag.
Introduction: Women on Their Own Chapter 1: From Aristocratic Promenades to Bourgeois Walks Chapter 2: Strolling and Idling: On the Go in the City Chapter 3: Liberating Steps into Nature Chapter 4: High Up: Above It All Appendix