Saturday, June 28, 2014

Artemisia Gentileschi

30 × 28 cm
Curtis Galleries, Minneapolis

Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-1656) was an Italian Baroque painter. Her father, a Tuscan master painter Orazio Gentileschi, was heavily influenced by the baroque master Caravaggio, and so was Artemisia. She is considered to be one of his most talented followers. Later she added classical influences into her work. Today she is considered one of the most accomplished painters in the generation following that of Caravaggio.

In an era when women painters were not easily accepted by the artistic community or patrons, she was the first woman to become a member of the Accademia di Arte del Disegno in Florence. She painted many pictures of strong and suffering women from myth and the Bible - victims, suicides, warriors - and made it her speciality to paint the Judith story.

She was raped by her tutor painter and participated in prosecuting the rapist, long overshadowed her achievements as an artist. For many years she was regarded as a curiosity. Today she is regarded as one of the most progressive and expressionist painters of her generation.
During her lifetime, she managed to do the unheard of: thrive in a male-dominated field as a woman. Today, she remains an inspiration, not only for her powerful artwork, but for her ability to overcome the limits and prejudices of her time.