Artemisia Gentileschi: the only known female follower of Caravaggio

Feb 24, 2022 321

Tuesday, March 1 at 7 pm. Organized by Casa Belvedere, The Italian Cultural Foundation | 79 Howard Ave., Staten Island, NY. Register in person here, for virtual here. For the excellence of her art, Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-1652-3) is among the most prominent Italian Baroque painters, male or female. In a male-dominated art world, this girl - born in Rome - was the first female professional painter who obtained high honors.

She was the first woman member of the celebrated Florentine Art Academy; the Medici family and the kings of Spain and England commissioned paintings from her. In spite of accomplishments and fame during her lifetime, for almost three centuries, oblivion and silence hid her artwork. Recent scholarly research gave Artemisia a well-deserved place in art history.

In most of her paintings, she did not conform to or imitate style or topics that were traditional at the time. Her subjects were women from the Bible and history; women victims who suffered, but who were determined and active in taking their destiny into their own hands. Paintings with such topics required radically different treatment, and Artemisia created and introduced dramatic and original depictions of her heroines that, with the exception of Caravaggio, were rarely seen in European art.

Artemisia’s style and choice of subjects might have been influenced by her painful experience as a survivor and innocent victim of a rape. A public scandal ensued that almost ruined her reputation as a painter.
In this presentation, we will hear about her difficult life and see her most famous paintings.

About the Speaker

Snjezana Smodlaka, born in Croatia, holds a B.A. in Italian Literature, M.A. in Romance Philology, M.A and Ph.D. in Italian Literature from Rutgers University. She was a high school Italian and Latin teacher, and adjunct professor at Wagner College, CSI, and Rutgers University. She has published many articles on Italian language and literature and presented more than 40 papers at international congresses in the United States, Canada, Croatia, Italy, Spain, Germany, France, and Austria. For two decades, she broadened her research on aesthetics and intersections between Italian literature, figurative arts, and opera. She is committed to bringing back Italian Renaissance and Baroque women artists from centuries-old oblivion.

SOURCE: Casa Belvedere

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