Art was a battlefield for Italian painter Artemisia Gentileschi, a feminist before the word was invented

Jun 06, 2022 417

BY: Alisa Siegel

Sexual assault. The battle for control over a woman's body. The silencing of women's voices. Italian artist Artemisia Gentileschi lived it all in the 1600s, resisted and ultimately won.

Gentileschi carved a name for herself as the daring painter of biblical and Roman heroines — Judith, Esther, Susanna, Lucretia. Her bold history paintings upended traditional depictions of women by male artists and delivered instead complex female figures: gutsy, intelligent and strong.

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