A is for Artemisia Gentileschi

My personal favorite Baroque painter, she followed in Caravaggio’s (incredible) footsteps (maybe even trained by him? It’s a possibility, but not certain by any means). She was an artist in demand in a time when women in the arts were practically unheard of. As a young woman, she was sexually assaulted and took her assailant to court, refusing to back down even under torture. The man was ultimately convicted. In my (deeply uneducated) opinion, you can see this play out in her choice of subjects: powerful women taking down corrupt men. 

This particular scene comes from her piece “Jael and Sisera” (1620). I love this one, but I have to say it’s not my favorite of hers. That inconsequential honor goes to “Judith Slaying Holofernes” (1620), with “Susanna and the Elders” (1610) as a close second. 

This is such a brief summary of an incredible woman. I hope this encourages you to take a deeper dive into her work. She’s worth it.

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