Italian painter, 1593-1652
Artemesia Gentileschi, the daughter of Orazio Gentileschi, was one of the most recognized women artists in the Renaissance. She was trained by her father, but was rejected from the academies because of her gender. She then continued her studies under Agostino Tassi. Tassi raped Artemesia and her father subsequently brought charges, leading to a seven-month trial during which she was required to give testimony under torture.
Tassi was convicted and Artemisia was vindicated, and married the artist Pierantonio Stiattesi shortly thereafter. However the trauma of the sexual harrassment and assault she experienced have been said to appear in her works. These include several depictions of the violent stories of Judith and Holofernes (right) and Jael and Sisera, as well as versions of Susanna and the Elders in which Susanna exhibits genuine terror.
After her death, most of Artemesia's works were attributed to her father and other artists until recently. Since the reappearance of her work and story, there have been many feminist studies of her paintings.
Artcyclopedia page for Artemisia Gentileschi: Works at museums, galleries and image archives worldwide.
Judith Beheading Holofernes, ca.1620
Uffizi Gallery, Florence