Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Artemisia Gentileschi

Baroque female artist Artemisia Gentileschi painted strong Biblical women during the 17th century in Italy. Despite discrimination and sexual violence that she faced during her time, she managed to be successful for her day as a artist.  In the 1970's, feminist scholars rediscovered her work and brought her pieces to light which are now widely reproduced. These pieces include "Judith Beheading Holofernes" and "Susanna and the Elders."

Self Portrait of Gentileshi

A painter's daughter, Gentileshi was trained in her father's workshop due to the refused admission to the art academy because she was a woman. Her father saw great potential in his daughter and had private lessons given to her. Tassi, her private teacher, would later deflower her (around age 17-19) and promised to marry her. Once her father learned of this, he brought Tassi to trail for rape, and although he was convicted, he received a suspended sentence (1612).
"Judith Beheading Holofernes"

During this trail, her name was ultimately ruined and she was ultimately married off quietly and moved to Florence, where she became the first woman accepted into the Accadmia delle Arti del Disegno (Academy of the Arts of Drawing). Success followed her here, her career producing many paintings of powerful women from Christianity, history and mythology. She worked in many Italian cities and even painted in England for a time.
"Susanna and the Elders"

It is believed that Gentileshi used art to express her anger from the trial. "Judith Beheading Holofernes," shows a beautiful Israeli woman cutting off the head of the invading general Holofernes. Her realistic and sometimes Caravaggio influenced style, shows dramatic contrasts between light and dark while offering a strong, female viewpoint, unlike anything of her time.
She is now considered the patron saint of women artist.

To learn more about the trails:

"Artemisia Gentileschi Biography." Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, 1996. Web. 15 Mar. 2014. <http://www.biography.com/people/artemisia-gentileschi-9308725>.
Gunnell, Barbara. "The Rape of Artemisia." The Independent. Independent Digital News and Media, 4 July 1993. Web. 12 Mar. 2014.

Yau, John. "10 Facts You May Not Know About Artemisia Gentileschi." Hyperallergic RSS. Hyperallergic RSS, 2009. Web. 17 Mar. 2014. <http://hyperallergic.com/75376/10-facts-you-may-not-know-about-artemisia-gentileschi/>.

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