BC: Bibliography 1- "Artemisia Gentileschi biography." Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2013.
FC: Artemisia | 3.
1: About Artemisia | 2. | Artemisia Gentileschi is considered to be one of the most strong, famous, and adept painters of the Baroque era. The Baroque era was a period that began around 1600 in Rome in which painters used strong and exaggerated strokes in order to convey a sense of exuberance, tension, or drama. (1) Artemisia was among the first women artists of her time. Her vivid paintings were unique especially in the aspect of woman perspective. By about 1630, Artemisia had painted many of her female-lead portrayals, many focusing on the the Biblical story of Judith, and others that depicted well-known figures from mythology and history like “Minerva”. She had settled at Naples, and painted “Self Portrait as the Allegory of Painting”. This well-known painting depicts herself painting with a certain contemplative expression taking her face. She then traveled to England to work with her father, who had been commissioned by Queen Henrietta Maria in 1639. (2) Artemisia continued to paint for the rest of her life, but most of her researchers consider her best paintings to be the ones that she completed earlier in her career. She died in Naples in 1652, but no tombstone is left today. (1) Artemisia managed to not only survive, but thrive in a completely male-dominated occupation. Her strikingly realistic paintings inspired more discussion and controversy over her distinctive painting style and demonstrated her capability to conquer the prejudices and restrictions that came with her time period.
2: 4. | Where she lived | Artemisia Gentileschi moved from Rome to Florence after getting married to a painter from Florence named Pietro Antonio di Vicenzo Stiattesi. She later spent time in Genoa and Venice. In 1630, she moved to Naples. Around 1639, Gentileschi traveled to England to work with her father. In her final years, she went back to Naples where she died. (1)
3: Artemisia Gentileschi was born in Rome,Italy on July 08 1593, the eldest child of the Tuscan painter Orazio Gentileschi. (1) She died circa 1652 in Naples, Italy. (1) | When she lived & died | 5.
4: "Susanna and The Elders" | 6. | 8a.
5: “Susanna and the Elders” was Artemisia’s first painting, and was considered to be an extremely developed and mature depiction of the Biblical scene. The work that illustrates both advanced color and style, influenced by Michelangelo, suggests that her father may have aided her in the execution. In fact, it was first believed to be her Father's work because it was so profound, but multiple following interpretations determined it to be essentially Artemisia’s. Her signature is indeed found in the shadow of Susanna’s legs. (5) This painting represents the Biblical story of Susanna who was a devoted wife being sexually harassed by men. It is much different from other depictions of Susanna because they all showed her as flirtatious. (3) Artemisia’s portrayal of the scene is especially unique because of the realistic nature of Susanna’s expression and body language. Her face conveys a helpless revulsion and her hands are held up to defend herself. This authentic representation of vulnerability suggests that Artemisia knew how unwelcome approaches felt. It was something that a man would not be able to depict as convincingly, in such a raw and genuine manner. (6) | 6a.
6: "Judith Slaying Holofernes" | 8b.
7: Artemisia Gentileschi was one of the most famous and skilled painters of her times. Her sensational painting Judith Slaying Holofernes epitomized her career. The brutal description in the monumental Judith Slaying Holofernes is often interpreted as a painted revenge for rape. Gentileschi was raped at the age of 18 by one of her father'a colleagues, Agistino Tassi. In the end Tassi was never punished. Unlike other artists who focused in the ideals of beauty and courage evoked by the Jewish heroine Judith, Gentileshi chose to paint the biblical story's gruesome climax, producing a terrifying picture. As the heroine decapitate Holofernes, the general of King Nebuchadnezzar, to save the Jewish people, her brow is frowned in concentration, her forearms are tensed, and blood spurts wildly from her victim's neck. The startling naturalism of this scene owes much to the influence of Caravaggio; Artemisia followed his technique of painting directly from life and employing sharp contrasts of light and dark. The power of the scene, however, is all her own, and the painting endures as a masterpiece of Baroque art. (7) | 6b.
8: “Self Portrait as the Allegory of Painting” | 8c.
9: The “Self Portrait as the Allegory of Painting” depicts the image of a woman (Artemisia) lustfully painting with one hand. Usually, a woman painting was usually portrayed wearing multicolored clothing, gold chains, and wild, unruly hair. The Italian Baroque styles that were utilized emphasized on the asymmetrical emphasis, arm thrust out, and the movement and emotion of the picture. It also gave an illusion of depth, making it seem like the woman is coming out of the painting. The lighting on her arm and face implies that her hand is creating something grand, for the lighting on everything else is dark. There are also many textures illustrated in the painting like the silky cloth of her clothes, her rough hair, and the coarse walls. By making herself the allegory of painting, Artemisia put her foot down and declared to the world that painting was no longer a man-dominated field. She used the same underlying theme with her other paintings featuring a female lead. (4) | 6c.
10: SignificANCE | Artemisia Gentileschi was a strong individual that was one of the first women to work as painter during the Baroque era. She was put down by most men during her career as an artist. Taking these criticisms to heart, Artemisia grew as an artist and created a prominent role for herself in society. This paved the path for other women to make a living and become successful in the artistic field. Many women were inspired by Artemisia’s determination to surpass all prejudices. Not only was Artemisia the first women in her field, but she was also a very successful in her field as an overall Baroque painter. | 7.
11: Her paintings had a very distinctive style. She was the first to ever make females the focus and protagonists of paintings. Putting more emphasis on the female character, she was able to give women a more prominent role in society. For the first time in history, the society was able to see paintings from the point of view of women. By doing so, Artemisia diminished patriarchal views in society. She also gave a voice to women. For example, in her painting “Susanna and the Elders, Artemisia depicted the perspective of Susanna rather than the Elders proving the true nature of women. Before Artemisia, women were seen as completely inferior, and they did not have a huge voice in society. Artemisia decreased this point of view. She fought for proving their intelligence and righteousness through her paintings. Artemisia was herself a perfect example of what a women can do if she is encouraged. Because of the dominating of the male in a woman’s life, women were not able to speak up. Males saw women as stupid and not beneficial to the economic and political sphere of society. Artemisia proved them all wrong. (5)
12: FUN FACTS Artemisia was good friends with Galileo Galilei and she corresponded with him by letter regularly for a long period of time. Artemisia was the only women in Italy to have mastered painting, coloring, doughing, and other fundamentals. In Florence, Artemisia and Pietro Stiatessi had four sons and one daugher, but only the daughter (Prudenzia) survived to adulthood. Artemisia was the first woman to be accepted into the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno. Artemisia's father was so influenced by Caravaggio because he spent time in jail with him.
13: "My illustrious lordship, I'll show you what a woman can do." ~Artemisia Gentileschi