Artemisia Gentileschi

Portrait of Artemisia Gentileschi, by an unknown artist, c. 1614-1620.

Artemisia's signature from a letter to Andrea Cioli, Secretary of State to Cosimo II, Grand Duke of Tuscany. Dated 11th December, 1635.

Hand of Artemisia Gentileschi by Pierre Dumonstier le Neveu, 1625.


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the life and art of artemisia gentileschi

The Life and Art of Artemisia Gentileschi

This website is dedicated to the life and art of Artemisia Gentileschi. It features a guided tour of thirty-four of her paintings in approximate chronological order. Each painting is on a separate page with details about the work itself along with biographical details of the artist's life contemporaneous with the work.

Artemisia Gentileschi (1593 - 1652/1653), daughter of well-known Roman artist, Orazio Gentileschi (1563 - 1639), was one of the first women artists to achieve recognition in the male-dominated world of post-Renaissance art. In an era when female artists were limited to portrait painting and imitative poses, she was the first woman to paint major historical and religious scenarios.

Aorn in Rome in 1593, she received her early training from her father, but after art academies rejected her, she continued study under a friend of her father, Agostino Tassi. In 1612, her father brought suit against Tassi for raping Artemisia. There followed a highly publicised seven-month trial. This event makes up the central theme of a controversial French film, Artemisia (1998), directed by Agnes Merlet.

Ahe trauma of the rape and trial impacted on Artemisia's painting. Her graphic depictions were cathartic and symbolic attempts to deal with the physical and psychic pain. The heroines of her art, especially Judith, are powerful women exacting revenge on such male evildoers as the Assyrian general Holofernes. Her style was heavily influenced by dramatic realism and marked chiaroscuro (contrasting light and dark) of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1573 - 1610).

After her death, she drifted into obscurity, her works often attributed to her father or other artists. Art historian and expert on Artemisia, Mary D. Garrard notes that Artemisia "has suffered a scholarly neglect that is unthinkable for an artist of her calibre." Renewed and overdue interest in Artemisia in recent years has recognized her as a talented seventeenth-century painter and one of the world's greatest female artists. The first book devoted to her, Artemisia Gentileschi - The Image of The Female Hero in Italian Baroque Art. by Mary D. Garrard, was issued in 1989; her first exhibition was held in Florence in 1991. A TV documentary, a play and, more recently, a film have advanced her visibilty as an important artist.

Start the Tour here

Artemisia News

Larry's report on Artemisia's exhibition in Milan.

In January 2012, Larry was fortunate enough to attend the first major exhibition of Artemisia's work in Milan. It included more than 40 of her paintings, several of which Larry had not previously come across. There were also several paintings from artists that influenced Artemisia, including her father, Orazio, Simon Vouet and Aurelio Lomi.
Read his account

Where to find Artemisia's paintings

Planning a trip to Italy and would like to find her paintings in art galleries?. To make your search easier, we have grouped where her paintings are by city in Italy, and also by country for other countries.
Have a look!

A Woman Like That

Film about Artemisia
"Filmmaker Ellen Weissbrod merges her own coming of middle-age story with her pursuit of the truths behind the legends of 17th century female painter Artemisia Gentileschi's dramatic art and life."
Check out the website.


  1. Garrard, Mary D. 1989. Artemisia Gentileschi - The Image of The Female Hero in Italian Baroque Art. Princeton University Press.
  2. Garrard, Mary D. 1993. Artemisia Gentileschi. Rizzoli Publications Inc., New York.
  3. Alexandra Lapierre, 1998 (translated by Liz Heron, 2000), Artemisia - a novel, Grove Press, New York.
  4. Bissell, R. Ward, 1999. Artemisia Gentileschi and the Authority of Art. The Pennsylvania State University Press.
  5. Garrard, Mary D. 2001. Artemisia Gentileschi around 1622: The Shaping and Reshaping of an Artistic Identity. Discovery Arts Series, University of California Press.
  6. Vreeland, Susan 2002 The Passion of Artemisia Headline Book Publishing.


Many thanks to Mary Ellen Snodgrass for her assistance with editing this website.

Random painting from the tour:

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The Web This website

Important links:

  1. Artemisia Forum.
  2. Sitemap - Find a specific page.
  3. FAQ Page - Frequently asked questions.
  4. Locations - Where to find her paintings.
  5. Guestbook - Share your thoughts.
  6. Email Page - Contact me.
  7. All the images - Find a picture.
  8. Artemisia Links - A few other Artemisia sites.
  9. Artemisia's Rome - Where she lived in Rome.
  10. Donations - Help to support this website.

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Website creation, design, and maintenance by Larry Brash. © 1999-2014.