Students and Faculty from the Department of Romance and Classical Studies visit the Detroit Institute of Art

On April 10th, Professors Carmen De Lorenzo and Valentina Denzel co-organized a trip to the exhibition By her hand:Artemisia Gentileschi and Women Artists in Italy, 1500–1800 at the Detroit Institute of Art (DIA). 22 students and faculty members attended this trip to discover “the untold role of women artists in Italy from the birth of the Renaissance until the Enlightenment” ( The DIA exhibits 60 paintings, drawings, and sculptures from 17 women artists, including the painter Artemisia Gentilleschi (1593 – c. 1656) and the painter and printmaker from Bologna Elisabetta Sirani (1638–1665). Students and faculty members were struck by the mastery, the intensity, and the proto-feminist aspects of these works of art.

RCS Faculty with students during visit to the DIA

Student comments:

Hailey Fetterhoff, who is minoring in Italian, found the visit to the ​Detroit Institute of Art with Professor De Lorenzo and many others very enlightening. “We went to the Institute to see the exhibit By Her Hand: Artemisia Gentileschi and Women Artists in Italy, 1500-1800, which highlighted female Italian artists that were once overlooked and underappreciated by the male artists during the time period. Seeing these women have their own space and be appreciated and given the credit they deserved was very satisfying as a female myself. Thank you!”

Alessio Laura, another minor in Italian, enjoyed the trip at the DIA with the language classes. He says “it further expanded my knowledge of the history of countries and people and I’d do it again. The trip was fun and engaging. By far I enjoyed the ancient roman exhibits the most. I’d encourage anyone to make this experience their own and to broaden their knowledge in the arts, as they are truly fascinating.”

For Liyah (Aaliyah) Rodriguez, who is also minoring in Italian, going to the DIA was a wonderful experience. “It was very interesting to see a woman’s perception of the renaissance through art. I was also able to see different representations of art from different cultures. Getting to experience it with people I had never met before was fun as well because I was able to see different perceptions of the art. All around I had an amazing time and would definitely do it again.”

And according to Viviane Ribes, graduate student in French and Francophone Studies, “the DIA is amazing. The works of art are perfectly exposed in the right place, right light. They even matched the bench with the theme! It is interesting to compare male art and female art. The women in the paintings are livelier, showing emotions like anger, courage that male painters don’t catch.”

Professors Valentina Denzel and Carmen De Lorenzo

For more information about the exhibit, please see: