Room of illustrious personages

Gender and history

Gender roles

The terms used to designate the room of illustrious personages allude to ambiguity of gender. However, all of the personages depicted are male figures. This highlights the absence of celebrated Valencian women over centuries of history. Although some stood out in various facets and obtained public recognition, their merits have been rendered silent by history. There are various women who are worthy of this place: Isabel de Villena (1430–1490), the first known female Valencian writer; Jerónima Gales, an important 16th-century printer who headed major publishing projects; and Margarita and Dorotea de Juanes, who painted admirably in the same style as their father. During the 17th and 18th centuries, women burst into public spaces, but in the 19th century they were pushed back into private areas. Few devoted themselves to intellectual activities, but they served as a model for those who would begin moving towards emancipation following the revolution of ‘68.