Artemisia Gentileschi

(1593-1656)

Ten Stunning Paintings

Facts About Artemisia 

 

  • Artemisa’s father, Orazio Gentileschi, was in prison with Caravaggio. 

 

  • In 1612, her father brought a lawsuit against his painting companion, Agostino Tassi, for raping his daughter.

 

  • After the trial, she was married off to another painter, Pietro Stiattesi, and the couple then moved to Florence. 

 

  • She was the first woman ever admitted into the Accademia dell’Arte del Disegno in Florence.

 

  • Since she was a woman, she could paint nude female models. This gave her an advantage over male painters, who were prevented from using live female nude models.

 

  • Galileo and Artemisia Gentileschi knew each other: they both had connections to the Grand Ducal Court in Florence, and they were both members of the Accademia del Disegno. 

 

  • Gentileschi must have learned from Galileo since the depiction of blood squirting in Judith Slaying Holofernes (c. 1620) is in accordance with his discovery of the parabolic path of projectiles. 

 

  • Judith Slaying Holofernes (c. 1620) was most likely made for Cosimo II de’ Medici, the Grand Duke of Tuscany, who hid the painting from view as he believed it was too horrifying to behold.

 

  • In 16 Artemisia was invited to England by Charles 1 and together with her father she worked on the Queen's House ceiling panels at Greenwich, London.

 

  • Artemisia painted a panel entitled Inclinazione, commissioned by Michelangelo Buonarotti the Younger (Michelangelo’s great-nephew), inside Florence’s Casa Buonarotti. The first exhibition of her work was held in 1991 at the same Casa. 

 

  • Until her rediscovery in the late 20th century, many of her works had been wrongly attributed to her father or largely ignored by critics and art historians. 

 

  • Artemisia died of the plague in 1656 which swept Naples and wiped out a generation of local artists, together with most of the population.

David and Bathsheba

Early 1640s, Columbus Ohio, Museum of Art