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Artemisia Gentileschi

Artist Statement


Artemisia Gentileschi was born in Rome in 1593. The date of her death is not clearly known, though, she is presumed to have died in Naples around 1656. Her father, Orazio Gentileschi, and Caravaggio are considered to be the strongest influences in Gentileschi’s art. Orazio overtly supported his daughter’s production of art, which was atypical in the early 1600s. He allowed her to paint the models he hired for his own work and hired a tutor, Agostino Tassi, for her. In a horrible turn of events Tassi raped Artemesia. Artemesia’s father brought rape charges against him and Tassi was convicted but his sentence was never carried out. This traumatic experience greatly informed Gentileschi for the remainder of her life and is evident in many of her works. After the rape, Artemesia moved to Florence where her father had arranged a marriage for her. In Florence, The Accademia delle Arti Del Disegno, accepted Artemesia as the first female student. In addition to this honor, she was also given commissions from the Grand Duke of Tuscany. Artemesia left Florence and went to London, without her husband, where she is presumed to have worked with her father on a fresco. Artemesia’s time in London is viewed as a one of her most productive periods, producing some of her most famous works, including Self Portrait as the Allegory of Painting. In recent years, Artemesia has been credited with being the most influential female artist of her time and the first well-known woman artist.