Women's History Month: Artemisia Gentileschi

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Gentileschi, Artemisia. Self-Portrait as the Allegory of Painting. 1630s. British Royal Collection, oil on canvas.

Artemisia Gentileschi (July 8th, 1593 to c. 1656) was an Italian Baroque painter known for her expressive works reminiscent of Caravaggio. Gentileschi learned to draw and paint from her father, a Mannerist artist well-recognized during the time. With her talent flourishing, a private tutor was hired to further develop Gentileschi's skills. Sadly, Gentileschi's tutor raped her, and she was subsequently tortured during the testimony to verify the truth. Vestiges of her mistreatment can be seen throughout her dramatic, poignant work.

Gentileschi's paintings center on strong female figures stemming from either mythological tales or the Bible. Violent in nature, one of Gentileschi's most commonplace themes is of Judith slaying Holofernes, a scene from the Old Testament Book of Judith. Expressive, evocative, and defiant, the heroines, like Judith, often resemble self-portraits of the artist herself.

Gentileschi was a well-renown painter during a period of time when women were not easily accepted in the arts. She was the first female accepted into the Accademia di Arte del Disegno, and was a court painter for the Medici family as well as Charles I of England. Due to her own personal strength and courage as well as the fortitude of her work, Gentileschi continues to be an inspiration to artists today.

To learn more about Artemisia Gentileschi, click here.

Hayley @ Central

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This page contains a single entry by Tim published on March 5, 2014 11:07 AM.

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