Life and Art of Artemisia Gentileschi > Madonna and Child > Next Page

Madonna and Child

c. 1609

Oil on canvas.

1.165m by 0.865m

Spada Gallery, Rome.

The Painting.

Although unsigned, some authors (Garrard) believed that this is Artemisia's earliest known painting, which she based on a Madonna painted by her father. Others (including Bissell) dispute the attribution and have suggested this version of Madonna and Child as her earliest work.

However, if it is her work, then at age sixteen, she already demonstrates excellent technical and compositional skills. She captures an intimacy between mother and child that is rarely achieved by male artists.

The Artist's Life.

Artemisia was born in Rome on July 8th, 1593, the daughter of Orazio Gentileschi and Prudentia Montone. Her mother died when Artemisia was twelve. She was the eldest of five children and the only one to show artistic skill. Her father recognised her abilities and began tutoring her. She grew up in an area of Rome populated by a variety of artists, local and foreign.

For information about Artemisia's childhood in Rome and where she lived click here.

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