The Vanishing Point by Louise Hawes
The Vanishing Point by Louise Hawes is the story of Lavinia Fontana, daughter of painter Prospero Fontana. In sixteenth century Bologna, it was difficult for a woman painter to be trained and receive recognition. Lavinia finds a way with the help of Paolo, an apprentice of her father's, who passes off her paintings as his own. When her father learns what's happened, he allows her to train with him. Mixed in with this story is a budding romance with Paolo and Lavinia's intervention in a family conflict. A great read for historical fiction fans.
For another engrossing book about a woman artist, read the adult novel, The Forest Lover by Susan Vreeland. Vreeland, also the author of Girl in Hyacinth Blue, tells the story of Emily Carr, a painter from British Columbia, who tried to preserve the massive totem poles of the Pacific Northwest Indians through her art.