During my nearly two year long quest for the perfect painting for my bedroom wall, I really really wanted to find a powerful female. Every time I was nearly there, something wasn't quite right. So, I ended up with The Skating Minister, which I love in every way except that it's not a powerful female (say, dressed in flowing tartan and on a horse) but is instead a whimsical in body, dour in face man.
Even though I didn't get my chick portrait, I can (and so can you) experience 500 years of female portraits in 3 minutes thanks to this lovely vid.
Even though it's all white ladies, (it is only Western Art) it's nice to think of all the diversity in beauty of women over the centuries.
Which is your favorite? I like the Sir Joshua Reynolds paintings-- esp. Jane Countess of Harrington, Vignee-Le Brun's self portrait and especially the Rubens painting-- A Lady In Waiting for Infanta Isabella. For the full list of portraits featured check out here.