In the eighteenth century not only the aristocracy but a burgeoning middle class could enjoy a remarkable flowering of the arts. But it was a man’s world; any woman who wished to succeed as an artist had to overcome numerous obstacles. In a society in which women were required to marry, reproduce, and conform to rigid social conventions, being a professional artist risked becoming an object of gossip and hostility. Nevertheless, for a woman who had charm and good looks, was ambitious, and allied talent with hard work, success was attainable. This evening will look at the careers of celebrated artists like Angelica Kauffman, Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun and others less well-known.