Expository Essay on Ideal Lady as a Social Construct: Isabella dEste

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Depending on the time that one was born, there is a tendency to popularize a particular image of women based on the social constructs at the time. a good instance was during the aftermath of the Second World War. At the time, most of the families in the united states moved to the suburbs in cities, and everyone in the family had a specific role to play. During this time, the women in the family were considered caregivers. Their key responsibility was to ensure that they cared for their own homes and childbearing. Men, on the other hand, were considered as the individuals who were the breadwinners. It was the creation of the ideal lady that gave a mental picture or a picture that other women in society had to emulate. However, women in effect started creating their own identities around the image that the society wanted them to portray (Murphy, 1999).

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Why Isabella dEste Become the Social Construct?

One such woman was Isabella dEste. Although she was always acutely concerned with her public life, it is historians who seemed to change the perceptions that she had at the time. it is imperative to comprehend that although Isabella dEste did not disappear like other women in renaissance art, there is a way that she is represented in history that is completely different from the imagery constructed in the Renaissance. It is also imperative to comprehend that western societies stifled women's voices thereby controlling their voice to create any ideal subjectivities after the traditional social hierarchies were destabilized. The issue of class in society was vital in that the different classes in society wanted to protect themselves.

Isabella dEste was portrayed as a typical child of the renaissance. This is because, through her actions, the best traditions were expected of her at the time that prescribed her social position and patronage options. Isabella dEste conduct was blameless in that as a mother, wife, and daughter; she was beyond reproach. One should note that Isabella dEste had very strong affections for her family and that she could have done anything for the sake of advancing her husband's interests. As a collector of art, the role that Isabella dEste played was difficult in that she had to juggle all these other responsibilities while still being expected to play the role of a renaissance woman.

Isabella dEste complied with the expected norms of her gender. She acted the role of a mother and also one who took care of her home. She, however, faced challenges. It was Isabella dEste's dream to create a place where she would be able to enjoy the pleasure of solitude or the company of a few chosen individuals. The environment had to be surrounded by her art collections. From Isabella dEste's perspective, the walls of her abode should be covered with paintings that give expressions to her perspectives of ideals of culture.

Most of the correspondence regarding Isabella dEste tends to define her collection style since she was considered an anomaly among the Renaissance patrons. It is imperative to comprehend that Isabella dEste as a collector was determined in a typically feminine way. Although the renaissance was a period that represented the emergence of creativity and new thinking, women at the time were excluded as they were considered inferior to men. According to the International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences & Rohrlich (1975), Isabella dEste was able to fight this exclusion. Women were not supposed to have any rights or property. However, Isabella dEste fought these notions as she collected her paintings and other forms of art. She also tended to her household duties industriously. In terms of comparison with other women in the Renaissance, Isabella dEste had attributions such as chastity, humility, temperance, and kindness.

Isabella dEste was responsible for standing up for her rights. In the Renaissance period, the only attribute that men gave women was beauty. It was even difficult if since it was men who judged beauty and could say who was more beautiful than the other. Isabella dEste is responsible for changing these notions and creating a culture that women should not be solely viewed as beautiful. Infect, through the creation of her collections of art; Isabella dEste was able to ensure that she set a precedent of women owning property. The role that Isabella dEste played was vital in that she was representing or acting both as a renaissance woman when she cared for her family. In her spare time, however, Isabella dEste created an environment that she could share with her friends and could not be interrupted by the men winning the society.


In conclusion, Isabella dEste was portrayed as a typical child of the renaissance. This is because, through her actions, the best traditions were expected of her at the time that prescribed her social position and patronage options. There are notions that she complied with while there are also other notions that she refuted. Through her way, Isabella dEste was able to create a form of culture.


Murphy, B. (1999). The Cambridge Companion to American women playwrights. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press.

International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences, & Rohrlich, R. (1975). Women cross-culturally: Change and challenge. The Hague: Mouton.

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