On 5th March 2017 the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York initiated a tour that featured ‘the nasty woman’ in art across the ages. The museum guide says: ‘This is a tour about feisty women who broke the rules. Flaunting convention, they reached for power and influence, and shaped the culture and politics of their day. People call them “nasty women”, but they still admire them. And along the way they became the subjects of great works of art – many of them on display at the Met’. 1 In terms of the arts, the tour includes depictions of Medusa, Judith cutting off the head of Holofernes, but also portraits of various courtesans and queens. It is faintly amusing to notice that whilst the tour was advertised as a nasty woman tour the link sent the reader to the websites called ‘shady ladies’ – perhaps unwittingly presenting unconscious connotations of the organisers (is a nasty woman by definition a shady one?).