Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Artemisia Gentileschi

Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-1654)1 is one of the most prominent female artists of the Baroque period, and because of both her artistic talent and her highly fascinating personal history, she is also one of the most researched as well.

Artemisia Gentileschi was born on July 8th, 1593, in Rome. She was the first child of Orazio, a painter who gained a mild amount of success.

She began her apprenticeship in her father’s studio as a teenager. Her father was an established but middling painter until his work was transformed by his encounter with Caravaggio in 1600.

By 1610, at the age of 17, Artemisia had created the stunning painting Susanna and the Elders, in which a beautiful maiden is spied on in her bath by two lascivious old men.

Gentileschi is widely known for her portrayals of strong heroines, usually doing bloody deeds to deserving males. In nearly all of her work, women are depicted as virtuous, strong and determined, while men are shown as threatening, diabolical or receiving a justly deserved punishment.

Artemisia Gentileschi’s most prominent use of Biblical tales to reflect her experiences asa woman is through the painting ​Judith Slaying Holofernes​, which she completed from 1611 to1612. It portrays the Biblical Judith, a socially liberated heroine, beheading the Assyrian tyrant Holofernes, whose armies had invaded Israel. He had also possibly attempted to sexually assault Judith.
Artemisia Gentileschi

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