Agostino Tassi

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    seen in her prominence as a female patron artist, her works have been deemed in the past as ‘gory’, ‘buxom’, and ‘animalistic’, even with the dedication she proved to the Carravagist tradition(s). These assumptions may be based on the facts that in the early Seventeenth Century, Artemisia was raped in May 1611 in her family's apartment. During this time, Artemisia’s father Orazio was competing in the Roman art world to secure ties in the patronage circles, and he did so by the relationship he had with artist Agostino Tassi, the man who had raped his daughter. Throughout her life, Artemisia had spent times in Rome, and then Florence when Orazio Gentileschi’s best student was his daughter, and she works under his teachings as well as his companions. Orazio had hired his associate Agostino Tassi to mentor his daughter in perspective, but when her father became absent in the lesson Tassi raped Artemesia. The documentation of the events and the year leading up to Orazio suing Tassi for crimes against his family and his daughter “defloration.” This event has become a controversy along scholars, leaving questions such as “[did the] rape and its aftermath provide psychological insight” to her paintings? And did it follower her to Florence and Naples, affecting her reputation? It has been suggested by Rozsika Parker and Griselda Pollock in their writings Old Mistresses, that Artemisia’s paintings are “evidence of [disliking] men”. A psychoanalytic theory of why her works may be deemed…

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    Judith Slaying Holofernes

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    Judith Slaying Holofernes from 1625 is also a representation of a biblical story where Holofernes blindly falls for Judith and due to his infatuation with her, Judith and Abra, blindside him by taking his life. Gentileschi’s scene of Judith killing Holofernes expresses violence and passion most likely emerging from the anger she felt towards Agostino Tassi for raping her and then exploiting her in court. Unlike, Gentileschi’s painting, Susanna and the Elders, which was painted prior to her to…

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    Artemisia Gentileschi

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    Once again using biblical stories to tell her own experiences, Gentileschi portrays herself as Judith beheading Holofernes, who is modelled after Tassi. The story goes that Judith, a Bethulian widow, was allowed to enter the tent of Holofernes, the general of the army assailing her town, because he lusted after her. When he became intoxicated, Judith killed Holofernes with the assistance of her maid, thus saving Bethulia. Gentileschi’s painting is brutally realistic. From the way the blood drips…

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    displaying the narratives of biblical scenes that depicted heroism and tragedy alike. Judith was often seen as a symbol of the Church. This association partly explains the increase in portrayals of Judith in the late 16th through the 17th centuries, when the Catholic Church was engaged in conflicts with both Protestants and Ottomans, whose eastern origins facilitated their identification with Holofernes. Artemisia likely identified with the protagonist of the story in a way her male counterparts…

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    attempting to discern Artemisia’s work from her father’s, which has been irresponsibly done in the field, Garrard augments her visual analysis with a critical perspective toward sexuality and gender. Throughout the article, Garrard debunks many preconceptions toward Artemisia. One of the most prevalent notions Garrard concentrates her analysis on is the unnecessary eroticization inflicted upon her. While women have historically been reduced to objects for male consumption in most arenas, for…

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