Google showcases a Belgian female painter

Google has paid tribute to a 17th century Belgian artist who dared to break down the barriers. She painted magnificent works without having had access to academic training.

If you regularly perform Google searches, you will no doubt have noticed Doodles, the modifications made to the Google logo to celebrate anniversaries or commemorate pioneers, artists or scientists.

Thanks to the search engine, Michaelina Wautier has emerged from the shadows four centuries after her death. The painter, a contemporary of Rubens, Van Dyck and Jordaens, was showcased by the homepage for 24 hours.

The company’s Belgian managers explained their choice, “We have a deep commitment to promoting people who illustrate gender diversity.”

Academies did not accept women in the 17th century and Michaelina Wautier’s first works were attributed to men. The artist was born in Mons in 1604 and settled in Brussels in 1640. Little is known about her life, but she left behind some 30 paintings on themes as diverse as mythological and religious scenes, portraits, everyday life and, unthinkably for the time, male nudes. Michaelina Wautier also stood out by daring to tackle large-format historical works.

Her great talent and perseverance made this painter a real role model for women.