Masterpieces TV - The Life and Art of Artemisia Gentileschi online - The New York Times online - Artemesia: Painting to Survive TV - Amanda Vickery TV - Mary Beard TV -
Her work graces the walls of the most prestigious museums in the world. Masterpieces: Artemisia
She flew in the face of almost every assumption about women current in the culture of late Renaissance Italy. ibid.
Now a single working mother, Artemisia uses everything she has learned to further her career in Rome. ibid.
She received an invitation from Charles I of England to come to London. ibid.
Artemisia never stopped painting. ibid.
Artemisia Gentileschi (1593–1652/1653), daughter of well-known Roman artist, Orazio Gentileschi (1563–1639), was one of the first women artists to achieve recognition in the male-dominated world of post-Renaissance art. In an era when female artists were limited to portrait painting and imitative poses, she was the first woman to paint major historical and religious scenarios.
Born in Rome in 1593, she received her early training from her father, but after art academies rejected her, she continued study under a friend of her father, Agostino Tassi. In 1612, her father brought suit against Tassi for raping Artemisia. There followed a highly publicised seven-month trial. This event makes up the central theme of a controversial French film, Artemisia (1998), directed by Agnes Merlet.
The trauma of the rape and trial impacted on Artemisia’s painting. Her graphic depictions were cathartic and symbolic attempts to deal with the physical and psychic pain. The heroines of her art, especially Judith, are powerful women exacting revenge on such male evildoers as the Assyrian general Holofernes. Her style was heavily influenced by dramatic realism and marked chiaroscuro (contrasting light and dark) of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1573–1610). The Life and Art of Artemisia Gentileschi
Milan – A eulogist hailed Artemisia Gentileschi in 1625 as a ‘prodigy of painting, easier to envy than to imitate.’ By then she was well on the way to international fame, but to achieve it she had to overcome not only the professional challenges of pursuing a public career in a man’s world, but also personal adversity and scandal.
Unlike her successful female forerunners Sofonisba Anguissola and Lavinia Fontana, who both came from cultivated, prosperous and protective backgrounds, Artemisia, whose mother died when she was 12, was of lower class origin and grew up in a rough, sometimes violent household. In 1612, at 18, she appeared in a sensational rape trial, which could easily have led to a lifetime of ostracism, making it impossible for her to win the aristocratic commissions that were essential if she were to make it as an artist. The New York Times online article 18th November 2011 Roderick Conway Morris ‘Artemisia: Her Passion Was Painting Above All Else’
‘I was between two factions of lurid scoundrels.’ Artemisia: Painting to Survive, Sky Arts 2016
1612: A young eighteen-year-old girl is about to judged by the supreme court of the Papal state. She is Artemisia Gentileschi, the first teacher of light and shadow, a title that until then had only been given to Caravaggio. ibid.
The anger for the physical and psychological violence she endured Artemisia translates into art. ibid.
The trial is remembered as one of the most famous of the seventeenth century. ibid.
‘Artemisia is groundbreaking in her depiction of women ... as heroes.’ ibid.
Rome: the home of Artemisia Gentileschi, born in 1593 ... She tackled the epic. Amanda Vickery, The Story of Women and Art, BBC 2014
[Artemisia] Gentileschi put strong women centre frame. Mary Beard’s Shock of the Nude I, BBC 2020