Our #FemaleFigures and #WomyxnOfHistory campaigns are drawing attention to the women in art and in history who cannot be forgotten.

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Christina, Queen of Sweden (1629-1689) lived a life deliciously ripe with scandal. At the age of 28— after having ruled Sweden for 10 years— Christina relinquished her throne, converted to Catholicism, and moved to Rome to become an actress and a musician... a move which prompted the Pope to dub her “a queen without a realm, a Christian without faith, and a woman without shame.”

Agnès Sorel (1422 - 1450), considered to be history’s first official royal mistress. She caused scandal in the court of King Charles VII of France for wearing gowns with one breast fully exposed. Sorel is depicted here as the Virgin Mary, in a painting which historian Johan Huizinga praised for its “decadent impiety” and “blasphemous beauty”....

Liu Rushi (1618-1664): a Chinese courtesan and poet, well-known for dressing up in men’s clothing. She seduced her husband, the scholar Quian Qianyi, by dressing up as a young boy interested in discussing poetry. She would go on to publish a great deal of writing, both alongside her husband’s and in her own anthologies.


Know that, like every woman of the people, I have more strength than I appear to have.
— Evita Perón (1919-1952)
You’re neither unnatural, nor abominable, nor mad; you’re as much a part of what people call nature as anyone else; only you’re unexplained as yet— you’ve not got your niche in creation.
— The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall (1928)