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Dangerous Women

Selections from the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art

On View:
Saturday, February 17, 2018 — Sunday, May 20, 2018


The Old and New Testaments are replete with female characters-good and bad wives, courageous heroines, and deceptive femme fatales. While some women saved their people, were paragons of wifely virtue, or repented their sins to pursue lives of virtue, others were purveyors of sin, harlots or hussies, or deadly temptresses and seductresses. Even if it was through their misbehavior, all of these women – from Judith and Esther to Salome and Mary Magdalene to Delilah, Lot's Daughters, and Potiphar's Wife, to name but a few – shaped biblical history. 

Dangerous Women will present more than twenty paintings and etchings from the rich holdings of the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. The exhibition explores women of the Bible as portrayed by 16th and 17th-century artists, including Pietro da Cortona, and Jan Saenredam. The exhibition will conclude with a modern and contemporary coda: Robert Henri's sensuous  Salome from 1901 and Mickalene Thomas’ Portrait of Madame Mama Bush 1, 2010, a reminder of the tenacious appeal of the subject.

This exhibition has been organized by The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, the State Art Museum of Florida, Florida State University, Sarasota, FL.

Support for this exhibition is made possible through the FUNDING ARTS NETWORK, INC. and the Miami-Dade County Tourist Development Council, the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners.

Image Caption: Pietro da Cortona (Pietro Berrettini) (Cortona 1596–1669 Rome). Hagar and the Angel, ca. 1643. Oil on canvas, 114.3 × 149.4 cm. Bequest of John Ringling, 1936, SN 132