Artemisia Gentileschi Essay

1775 Words Apr 15th, 2012 8 Pages
Artemisia Gentileschi
Considered one of the most important artists of the Baroque movement in Early Modern Europe, Artemisia Gentileschi, had to prove herself and break down the boundaries for a woman in a male dominated field. Artemisia was born in Rome on July 8, 1953 to Orazio and Prudentia Monotone Gentileschi, who died when the artist was only twelve years of age. Her upbringing was left to her father, who was also a well-known painter. He trained her since she was not permitted to learn in the studios of successful artists of the moment. Orazio introduced his daughter to the working artists of Rome including Caravaggio, whose tenebrism technique and chiaroscuro style had a great influence on her paintings.
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In this case, they contributed to a main current of Baroque art, highly sexualized and obsessively concerned with bruised and battering egos. Far from being about the cult of the victim, Artemisia Gentileschi's career is about putting victimization behind her, even as many of the paintings themselves are about anger and revenge”.
Artemisia by the age of seventeen had made a name for herself in her superb version of Susanna and the Elders (1610). She was able to capture the true meaning of the religious story in her work of art, perhaps because of her own experiences with older men. Artemisia’s use of rich color, lighting and anatomical accuracy may be attributed to the influence of Michelangelo. She executed the painting in an architectural setting during a sunny day; the cold sharpness of the stone creates tension between the figures and draws the eye’s focus to the older men. The expression on Susanna’s face and the position of her body is that of a person who seems annoyed, vulnerable, afraid, and disgusted by the insinuations of the men, who appear large, leering, and intimidating. Susanna’s gaze is downward letting the viewer know that she is ashamed of the situation. Artemisia emphasizes the importance that the guilty party is not Susanna but the elders. When compared to Rembrandt’s rendition of the same subject painted in 1647, which is centered in a garden that gives it a sexual and erotic overtone creating a much more intimate and warm scenery. The

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