8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 5 June 2007
This is not just a useful book for women's studies, but for history of art students too. I just remember this author for her feminist views and ground breaking book - The Female Eunech - but now note also how well Greer writes. She is accurate and academic, yet pleasantly so and easy to read. Research is evident and wide comparisons are made. I have used this book for studies on Artemesia Gentileschi, Caravaggio and the Pre-Raphaelite artists and poets and it is also interesting to note what has happened to would-be female artists, now and then. Why aren't you an artist if you are creative?
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 6 January 2010
Ms Greer's eye-opening book 'The Obstacle Race' had a majorly positive effect on my life as a professional painter, a tough career choice, especially when having few role models. The many illustrations show that women - despite the horrendous straightjackets imposed upon them - may have equal talent, and often show a fresh, incisive directness, which somehow, throughout the centuries, those self-styled arbiters of artistic taste chose to ignore.
on 7 June 2015
This is a really good book; far more than just a list of good women artists, it manages to encourage you to look more deeply at art in general, not just that by women. Dr Greer writes attractively and with little jargon. She does not try to maintain that the art world is heaving with female Rembrandts but explores the social and psychological reasons why not. If there's a weakness in her arguments, it is that her explanation for the dilemma in the visual arts applies, I would have thought, to other areas of endeavour, writing for example, where women have a solid position and noone maintains that 'there are no great female writers'. But I left reading this excellent book feeling convinced that the issues she expound are important. There are also, as she makes clear, a great number of superb female artists from the past.
on 18 May 2014
In my opinion, this is her best book. It tells the story of women who aspired to paint for a living whether that it was high art, genre scenes, or still lifes from the 15th through to the early 20th century,, as I recall. Germaine was one of the first scholars to rescue Artimisia Gentilischi from obscurity. Amanda Vickery's "The Story of Women and Art" on BBC right now (May 2014) covers a lot of the same ground and does not acknowledge Germaine's pioneering work.