The Life Of Artemisia Gentileschi, Baroque Painter

693 words - 3 pages

The Life of Artemisia Gentileschi
Artemisia Gentileschi is believed to have been born around 1593 and died around 1652.  Both dates are disputed to the current day.  She was one of five children and was born into the life of an artist.  Her father, who was an artist as well, loved her greatly.  Her mother died when she was twelve.  Artemisia was always a skilled painter, but her father wanted even more for her daughter.  While her works were already amazing for her age, she needed artistic guidance in order to further her skills.  One man who was hired as a tutor was named Agostino Tossi.  Tossi almost immediately was an annoying presence in the house frustrating Artemisia.  However, in 1610, her life would make an incredible change when Tossi is accused of raping her as well as stealing goods from the Gentileschi house.  Tossi denied the charges and they went to trial.  Artemisia's reputation as both an artist and a person was also clearly on trial making it an even more difficult personal experience.  While the verdict for Tossi was "guilty," his reputation suffered little if any.  Also, he spent little time in prison for his actions.  It seemed as if the court almost condoned his actions and felt little pity for Artemisia.  Her paintings, at this point in her life, become drastically different.  In about 1612, she paints the first of five works of Judith and Holoferness.  The gory scene shows Holoferness, an Assyrian general being beheaded by Judith, a Jewish widow.  The scene shows ample amount of blood, however, it does not feel like a room of murder.  The killing of Holoferness by Judith is done in order to protect her homeland and life.  Also, she prays to god in order to give her the strength to do the killing.  Therefore, she felt it was justifiable.  It is a rare message for the early 1600's in that it is the woman avenging a man.  The powerful scene  of   It seems that Artemisia paints these works in order to avenge her own suffering...

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