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The Ascension of Artemisia Gentileschi

Artemisia Gentileschi, the renowned Italian Baroque painter. Considered one of the most accomplished artists of the 17th century, Artemisia still causes quite a stir in the art world. Here, we’re exploring the life of Artemisia Gentileschi and some of her iconic Baroque art.

Artemisia Gentileshi Baroque Style
Self Portrait as a Female Martyr by Artemisia Gentileshi

Born in 1593, Artemisia Gentileschi worked in the Caravaggio style, producing professional level work by the ripe age of fifteen. Considering that most women at the time had hardly a door open to them in the way of art, this was quite the accomplishment.

Also, impressively, Gentileschi was the first female member of Florence’s Accademia di Arte del Disegno where she gained the interest of international clients.

Gentileschi’s Baroque style is characterized by incredible naturalism in her female forms and her expert skill expressing dimension and drama through color.

As we’ll see in these Artmeisia Gentileschi paintings featuring women in mythical, Biblical, and allegorical contexts, she gloried women as the hero in her work and she became an undeniable feminist icon.

Famous Artemisia Gentileschi Paintings

The first known work of Gentileschi was completed when she was seventeen years old called Susanna and the Elders from 1610 which was actually attributed to her father until much later. This piece was finished before she even attended art school.

Once she was in Florence, she developed her own unique Baroque style.

Most painters of the era, especially the few female artists, specialized in still-life and portraiture. Gentileschi, on the other hand, was a historical painter, continuing to embrace tenebrism (contrasting light and dark) which was made popular by Caravaggio.

First Painting by Artemisia Gentileschi Susanna an the Elders
Susanna and the Elders

Gentileschi was also known to paint self-portraits of herself in various professions. She would even place herself inside of allegorical themes. But, none of her work is more poignant and significant than her mythical, Biblical, and sensual works.

Baroque Style Judith Maidservant by Artemisia Gentileschi
Judith Maidservant by Artemisia Gentileschi
Lot and His Daughters by Artemisia Gentileschi
Baroque Style Example 3
Mary Magdalene by Artemisia Gentileschi

Artemisia Gentileschi Contributions to the Baroque Period

Gentileschi has become a face of feminism because of her unapologetic boldness in spite of unimaginable odds. Her fame surpassed that of her father and, despite being treated terribly by men, she made a name for herself by celebrating the strength of women.



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