Artemisia Gentileschi, Italian woman artist

This video shows art by Artemisia Gentileschi, with music by Bach.

Translated from Dutch Vivant magazine, #3, 2006, p. 18, by Peter Huys (that article has also information on other women artists; it is part of my sources for this series of blog entries):

Her choice of subjects made Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-1652) the heroine of 1960s feminism.

The way in which she made a break with the image of the ‘beautiful woman painter’ (lots of money, highly educated, no work to do), inspired many novelists and dramatists in that time.

Her self-portrait as ‘La Pittura’ (the art of painting) shows a modern approach; what a composition!

What an angle!

Art historians are still asking themselves how she managed this technically.

That is only possible, they suppose, if she used three-way mirrors. and even then …

Her looks are alert and focused, her attitude is active, and the dress is practical, especially not lady-like.

She specializes in scenes in which women have a dominant part.

Her daring did not harm her: in 1616, Gentileschi became the first woman ever joining the Accademia del Disegno, the prestigious art academy in Florence.

How the feminist passion for Artemisia Gentileschi’s life story risks overwhelming her artistic talent.

More women artists: here.

7 thoughts on “Artemisia Gentileschi, Italian woman artist

    • Thans for your kind comment, Cindy!

      I was unable to find Artemesia’s Rape of the Sabine Women on the Internet. It is a bit surprising that Diane Wolfthal, writing extensively on the Rape of the Sabine Women by other painters, does not mention that painting.

      From Diane Wolfthal: Images of Rape: The “Heroic” Tradition and its Alternatives

      “p. 25: It is striking that no woman artist, to my knowledge, produced a “heroic” rape image during the Renaissance or Baroque periods. But Artemisia Gentileschi did paint images of sexual violence, such s those of Susannah, which, Mary Garrard has demonstrated, constructed Susannah quite differently from those by contemporary male artists. Expressing a subversive voice, the artist sympathized with the victim, and movingly depicted her vulnerability and the anguish of sexual violence. Inverting the usual reading of such legends, she refused to show Susannah as a seductress or an object of sexual desire.”


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