From antiquity to the present day, women have been depicted in art in many guises - typifying their beauty, their power as monarchs or earth mothers, their religious fervour, their sexuality, their motherhood - and these images offer an insight into the history of women. This book presents the historian's view of the representations of women which have been created by artists in many cultures over the centuries. The authors unravel the complexities behind the images of women found in the illustrations in this book, examining the role of women as a source of aesthetic and artistic inspiration. They discuss the images of feminity which different ages and cultures were keen to present; consider under what conditions these images were produced; and outline the history of artistic development at the time. The illustrations, chosen for their beauty as well as their meaning, are diverse and often unusual, encompassing drawings, sculpture, frescos, paintings, needlework, photographs, prints and cartoons. They range from early artefacts and medieval wall paintings, through works by, for example, Bosch, Goya, Rembrandt, Canova, Fragonard, Much and Klimt, to self-portraits, photographs by Man Ray and cartoons by Claire Bretecher.