In the mid-1850s Harriet Hosmer, an American living in Rome, created a sculpture titled Puck, it showed an elfish figure sitting on a toadstool and playing with two insects.
Hosmer sold fifty copies of this piece, including one to the Prince of Wales.
At one point two London art journals claimed that one of Hosmer’s artworks was really created by a well-known male sculptor. Hosmer sued, and the magazines quickly took back their statements.
In the early 1800s two sisters, Anna and Sarah Peale, were among the first women to support themselves from their paintings.
Anna was known for her miniature portraits and Sarah for her full-size oil portraits.