Artemisia Gentileschi

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Artemisia Gentileschi: an artist of Relaism

Artemisia Gentileschi was born on July 8, 1593, in Rome. The eldest children of PrudentiaMontone and Orazio Gentileschi, who was a well-known painter. Artemisia started her early training from his father. She was centuries ahead of her time and one of few female artists in the 17th century. Caravaggio influenced her, and her paintings were the most dynamic and dramatic of her generation. Many artists of that time admired Artemisia for her realism. The present work of Artemisia is unique and based on the perspective on social norms and culture.

What motivates her artworks:

In 1611, when Orazio was hired to decorate Palazzo Pallavicini-Rospigliosi, with another painter, Agostino Tassi. To refine her painting techniques, Artemisia started learning from Orazio. In Florance, she became the first female to be accepted by Accademia Delle Arti del Disegno. It allowed her to purchase supplies for painting without the help of her husband. She also got support from the Grand Duke of Tuscany and received many commissions. She focused on realism, and she carefully refined the use of color and texture. Artemisia was sexually abused in her childhood, and it affected much of her work, and themes of rape, abuse, and violence reflected on many of her paintings. It seems like painting these subjects helped her to process the trauma of assault.

Famous artworks

Most of her famous artworks were focused on men's cruelty. Here are some of the masterpieces 

  • Susanna and the Elders was the first known work by Artemisia and was painted when she was only 17 years old. 
  • Danae- this is a Greek myth of Danae that tells how her gather confined her.
  • Judith slaying Holofernes- here, Artemisia depicts another popular biblical scene.
  • Lucretia- this painting represents Lucretia, who killed herself after getting raped.
  • Cleopatra- this is another painting that shows a woman who had been sexually assaulted. 

The exact date and cause of her death are unknown. During her last days, she had settled in Naples and continued to paint over there. According to research, she took her last breath in 1653 in Naples, Italy