GENTILESCHI, Artemisia


GENTILESCHI, Artemisia
(1593-1652/53)
Artemisia Gentileschi was the first female Italian artist determined to compete with the male artists of her time; she claimed to have "the spirit of Caesar" in the soul of a woman. Artemisia deserves recognition as a transmitter of Caravaggio's* ideas to Florence, Genoa, and Naples.
Artemisia, the daughter of Orazio Gentileschi, a follower of Caravaggio, en­joyed the benefits of having as her teacher a painter of significant stature. Draw­ing on mythological subjects and biblical themes, Artemisia's paintings often feature unusually striking depictions of female nudes. The subject for which she has been most celebrated is her dramatic study of Judith and Holofernes.An intense focus on individual characters is a hallmark of Artemisia's pictures. Her most successful paintings, executed prior to 1630, incorporate Caravaggesque realism and chiaroscuro, a painting technique using varied tones of light and dark paint for dramatic intensity. While Artemisia's contemporaries praised her skill in portrait painting, only one portrait remains today that can be attributed with confidence to Artemisia: Portrait of a Condottieri (1622).
In 1612 Artemisia had to endure what became a sensational trial when her father accused Agostino Tassi, the artist he had hired to teach his daughter perspective, of repeatedly raping her. After five months of being subjected to periodic torture from metal rings being tightened around her fingers to extract a confession of guilt from her, Artemisia refused to recant her story. Tassi spent eight months in prison, but he was ultimately acquitted of all charges. When the trial ended, Artemisia married a Florentine by the name of Pietro Antonio di Vincenzo Stiattesi to avoid further shame. The couple probably moved their household to Florence shortly after being married. Ultimately, the marriage proved to be a failure, and Artemisia with characteristic determination struck out on her own.
Throughout her career, Artemisia used her unique position as a woman, al­lowing her ready access to female models, to great advantage. A lucrative com­mission to paint a nude figure, The Allegory of Inclination (c. 1615), for Michelangelo Buonarroti the Younger suggests his admiration and recognition of Artemisia's talent in depicting the female nude.
While Artemisia was in Florence, she also enjoyed the patronage of the Med­ici family, the dynastic rulers of Florence. Artemisia's aristocratic patrons prob­ably facilitated her ready acceptance into the Florentine Accademia del Disegno, originally founded by the artist Giorgio Vasari* and others in 1563. Artemisia became an official member of the academy in 1616, an extraordinary event since it had received no women as members since its inception.
Artemisia is believed to have spent time in Genoa when her father worked there between 1621 and 1624. She also executed commissions in Venice during the 1620s. By 1622 Artemisia had returned to Rome, where she remained work­ing on commissions until the end of the decade. In her surviving letters, Arte­misia claims to have executed commissions for the kings of France, Spain, and England. Artemisia is documented as taking up residence in England by 1638, where she helped her father complete work on Queen Henrietta Maria's palace, called the Queen's House, at Greenwich. After 1641, Artemisia would reside in Naples for the remainder of her life. While she produced many paintings during this period, most of them are less engaging than her earlier works.
Bibliography
M. D. Garrard, Artemisia Gentileschi: The Image of the Female Hero in Italian Baroque Art, 1989.
N. Heller, Women Artists, 1987.
Debbie Barrett-Graves

Renaissance and Reformation 1500-1620: A Biographical Dictionary. . 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Gentileschi, Artemisia — born 1593, Rome, Papal States died 1652/53, Naples, Kingdom of Naples Italian painter. The daughter of Orazio Gentileschi, she studied with him and with the landscape painter Agostino Tassi. Her earliest known work is Susanna and the Elders… …   Universalium

  • Gentileschi, Artemisia — (1593 1652)    Artemisia was the daughter of Orazio Gentileschi, who trained her. Unlike other female artists of her era, she did not settle for lower genres but rather insisted on rendering mainstream scenes. Her favored subject was the female… …   Dictionary of Renaissance art

  • Gentileschi, Artemisia — (1593, Roma, Estados Pontificios–1652/53, Napolés, Reino de Nápoles). Pintora italiana. Hija de Orazio Gentileschi, estudió con él y con el paisajista Agostino Tassi. Su obra más temprana conocida es Susana y los ancianos (1610), atribuida… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Gentileschi, Artemisia — (1593 1652/3)    One of the first female painters since ancient times to attain recognition as an important artist. She was the daughter of a pupil of the artist Caravaggio and was born and trained at Rome. Her paintings of biblical women such as …   Historical Dictionary of Renaissance

  • Gentileschi,Artemisia — Gen·ti·le·schi (jĕn tē lĕsʹkē), Artemisia. 1593? 1652?. Italian Renaissance painter whose works include self portraits and paintings of courageous women of the Old Testament. * * * …   Universalium

  • Artemisia Gentileschi — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Artemisia Gentileschi …   Wikipedia Español

  • Artémisia Gentileschi — Artemisia Gentileschi Artemisia Lomi Gentileschi Autoportrait en Allégorie de la peinture 1638 1939, Royal Collection, Windsor Naissance 8 juillet 1593 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Artémisia — Artemisia Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Artemisia est, en botanique, le nom latin de l armoise. Artemisia est aussi un prénom féminin, porté notamment par : Artemisia Gentileschi …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Gentileschi, Orazio — orig. Orazio Lomi born 1562, Pisa died с 1639, London, Eng. Italian painter. He went to Rome с 1576–78 and painted frescoes in various churches (с 1590–1600). His paintings of the early 17th century reveal the influence of Caravaggio s strong… …   Universalium

  • Artemisia — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Artemisia est, en botanique, le nom latin de l armoise. Artemisia est aussi un prénom féminin, formé à partir du substantif grec artemia, intégrité… …   Wikipédia en Français


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