A WOMAN FREE AND PROUD – Artemisia Gentileschi: to paint when women were denied access to schools and at work

artemisia_gentileschi_2ARTEMISIA GENTILESCHI 1/4 – She was a Baroque-period painter, known for such works as “Susanna and the Elders” and “Judith Slaying Holofernes.” She lost her mother when she was 12 years old, and suffered another tragedy five years later (when she was raped by one of her father’s colleagues). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEa0ibrXqSk She married a painter from Florence, but their union wasn’t a happy one (but it gave her an opportunity to flourish as an artist).artemisia_gentileschi_8

ARTEMISIA GENTILESCHI 2/4 – She did not learn to read and write until she was adult (however, by the time she was seventeen, she had produced one of the works for which she is best known: Susanna and the Elders). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AADHWA8ZxUU She painted her earliest signed and dated work, around 1610. She lived in Florence for several years (but later she spent time in Genoa and Venice). In 1630, she moved to Naples. She befriended many artists, writers and thinkers of her time.artemisia_gentileschi_9

ARTEMISIA GENTILESCHI 3/4 – She painted (at first), in a style indistinguishable from her father’s somewhat lyrical interpretation of Caravaggio’s example. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxqLJnnBrM4 She is credited as one of the greatest female painters of the Baroque period, where she developed her artistic skills with the help of her father. Some of Gentileschi’s surviving paintings focus on a female protagonist.artemisia_gentileschi_4

ARTEMISIA GENTILESCHI 4/4 – The father was greatly influenced by Caravaggio (with whom he had a brief friendship). With her father, around 1639, she traveled to England to work (he had been commissioned by Queen Henrietta Maria, to create a series of paintings for her home in Greenwich). She died in Neaples. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m49vSv5N3-w By virtue of the excellence of her work, the originality of her treatment of traditional subjects, she remain the most important woman painter of Early Modern Europe.logo-meeting-benches

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