Equal Opportunities for Women. Supporting Aspiring Female Artists at the Brussels Royal Academy of Fine Arts (Late 19th Century)

Wendy Wiertz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


From the late nineteenth century onwards, Belgian fine arts academies gradually began opening their doors to female students. Gaining access to these male bastions was an important step for aspiring women artists to attain equal educatio­nal and profes­sio­nal opportu­ni­ties. This fact has been rightly celebra­ted as a victory of female endurance, but they also received support by male allies.

In my paper I focus on one such ally, exploring the advocacy of Joseph Stallaert (1825-1903) for an official nude model painting class for women at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Brussels during his tenure as director of between 1895 and 1898. To achieve this, Stallaert needed approval from the local city council, and the corres­pon­dence between himself and the council demons­trates his pragma­tic approach and unflag­ging support for his female students. The letters also show his views on women’s education and their place in society at the turn of the century.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFaire oeuvre
Subtitle of host publicationLa formation et la professionnalisation des artistes femmes aux XIXe et XXe siècles
PublisherAWARE Association
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9782956053330, 2956053337
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2023
EventFaire oeuvre: Making A Body Of Work. Training And Profes­sionalisation of Female Artists in the 19th and 20th Centuries - Centre Pompidou, Paris, France
Duration: 19 Sep 201920 Sep 2019


ConferenceFaire oeuvre
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