Friday Night Gallery Chat, Artemisia Gentileschi: Yes Women Painted In the 16th Century

“A Pale Green Mermaid Blog”


Good evening, ahhh Good AFTERNOON!  I stoped working on the computer last night when a freaky thunderstorm started…  because the  last time I worked through a thunderstorm it blew out my modem! So let that be a lesson to you.


Alright, I thought that I would try to discuss an art  movement through a specific artist.  Today let’s take a look at Artemisia Gentileschi.  She received training in painting when her father recognized her talent and allowed the opportunity.   She was a contemporary of  Rembrandt and an Italian Baroque painter in the post-Renaissance period.

The European Renaissance period of art was from the 14th to 17th centuries, the term means “re-birth “.  it included  all the arts, science and politics.  It looked to the past and built upon it to create a new view of the future. In the Baroque period following the Renaissance painters used intense dramatic expression in the structure of their paintings and  emotionally strong  subject matter usually,  historical.

The statements were bold and simple – look at the painting below,

How does the artist use hands and feet to move your eye through the painting?

Susanna and the Elders, Schönborn Collection, Pommersfelden


Here again she uses simple elements of color and light to make a direct statement about the beheading of Holofernes,

Judith and her Maidservant (1613-14) Oil on canvas Palazzo Pitti, Florence


Aretemesia was sexually assaulted by a friend of her father while he was training her in painting and the emotional residue of that event colors her paintings.

There was a trial where her veracity was tested by using a “thumb-screw” on her hand.  Some thing to think about, she passed the test and the family friend was deemed guilty.


 Self portrait below,

Artemisia Gentileschi

Self-portrait (1630s, Royal Collection, London)
Birth name Artemisia Gentileschi
Born July 8, 1593
Rome, Italy
Died c. 1652/1653
Naples, Italy
Nationality Italian
Field Painting
Training Orazio Gentileschi
Movement Baroque

All Images from WIKIPEDIA

Artemisia Gentileschi (July 8 1593 – 1652/1653) was an Italian Early Baroque painter, today considered one of the most accomplished painters in the generation influenced by Caravaggio. In an era when women painters were not easily accepted by the artistic community, she was the first female painter to become a member of the Accademia di Arte del Disegno in Florence.         

She was one of the first female artists to paint historical and religious paintings, at a time when such heroic themes were considered beyond a woman’s reach.   From Wikipedia

 Note:  Info on Holofernes,

Holofernes (Hebrew, הולופרנס) was an Assyrian invading general of Nebuchadnezzar, who appears in the deuterocanonical Book of Judith. It was said that the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar dispatched Holofernes to take vengeance on the nations of the west that had withheld their assistance to his reign. The general laid siege to Bethulia, commonly believed to be Meselieh, and the city almost surrendered. It was saved by Judith, a beautiful Hebrew widow who entered Holofernes’s camp and seduced him. Judith then beheaded Holofernes while he was drunk. She returned to Bethulia with the disembodied head, and the Hebrews defeated the enemy.

Holofernes is depicted in Geoffrey Chaucer‘s The Monk’s Tale in The Canterbury Tales, and in Dante’s Purgatorio (where Holofernes is to be found on the Terrace of pride). As a painter’s subject it offers the chance to contrast the flesh and jewels of a beautiful, festively attired woman with the grisly victim, an Old Testament parallel to the New Testament vignette of Salome with the head of John the Baptist.    FROM WIKIPEDIA

Have a blue-sky day!    Nice site with many of her paintings




Filed under Art, Friday Night Gallery Chat

4 responses to “Friday Night Gallery Chat, Artemisia Gentileschi: Yes Women Painted In the 16th Century

  1. Pingback: Indian Handicrafts » Friday Night Gallery Chat, Artemisia Gentileschi: Yes Women Painted In the 16th Century

  2. Hmmm yes, a woman putting her creative energy into something besides cooking, not that there’s anything wrong with cooking as an art form, but just a woman painter having a place at the painting table is ‘good” to know. I don’t like thinking about that ‘screw’ thingy at all. Sounds devilishly nasty..

  3. Lots of of guys blog about this matter but you wrote down some true words!!

  4. Thanks! She truly was a great artist the placement of her figures and colors are surprising and quite modern. As to the thumbscrew issue I ‘d confess in a moment – she had SPUNK! Thanks for stopping by!

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