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The Life and Art of Artemisia Gentileschi
his 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.
rtemisia 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.
orn 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.
he 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).
fter 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.
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.