A Female Artist's Life
Artemisia Gentileschi, a modern woman of the 16th century
Like many successful 16th century Italian female artists of her time, Artemisia Gentileschi’s talent was granted beginnings because her father was a painter.
But her strength and experience were all her own.
She was a courageous and independent woman, a champion of Caravaggio’s dramatic realism age, and a true survivor.
As she apprenticed alongside her father, she was often in the company of other male artists.
And at just the age of 17, she was robbed of her youth and raped by painter Agostino Tassi.
Her father attempted to press charges, and the young teenager went to trial. Tassi was found guilty — but received no punishment.
He walked out unscathed by societal systems while Gentileschi walked out with both her trauma and the wrongful shame of her judgmental community’s eyes weighing on her.
From Trials to Triumph
When we hear traumatic stories of artists, they typically lead to their demise or downfall.
But not with Artemisia.
Artemisia Gentileschi armed herself with her struggles and found the strength to not only keep going but to boldly proclaim her message through her work.
She turned her heavy darkness into palatable pieces. An independent woman and female artist, she empowered the powerless. She left subtlety behind and boldly called out female oppression and male voyeurism through biblical imagery, a style that popular male artists of the time practiced.
Gentileschi painted herself — her trauma, repression, and experiences — into her paintings.
Judith Slaying Holofernes
Literally, this painting depicts Judith beheading Holofernes. It has been interpreted by feminists and other female artists to illustrate her trauma and emotions regarding her rape by Tassi. Recently, many have seen it to represent women’s battle against oppression as a whole.
Susanna and the Elders
This is Gentileschi’s earliest known piece. Literally, it portrays Susanna being violated as men stare at her bathing. Many have also interpreted this piece to reveal Gentileschi’s uncomfortable experience when she was assaulted and abused by lurking men as just a young girl.
The Power of Art
Art has the power to give a voice to the voiceless.
In one image, you get a vivid glimpse into the depth of her pain and the sting of her sorrow.
She inspires me.
I am a female artist on a mission to uplift and strengthen other independent women through my portrait paintings. I paint strong, courageous, and independent female figures who inspire me and reflect the strength in you.
Take some time to browse my paintings at https://www.laraspadettoart.com/ .
By clicking on the image below you can download one of my most cherished portraits "ARTEMIS" in high resolution. You can print it directly at your home or have it reproduced on fine paper.
I hope it brings you joy.
You will also become part of my VIP community. Together we can do a lot by supporting each other!
This print will be available for a limited period of time. Click on the image below to download it.