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ahr2 - Bethany Fort ARH 303 February 7 2007 Response...

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Bethany Fort ARH 303 February 7, 2007 Response Paper #2 In “Artemisia and Susanna,” Mary D. Garrard evaluates Artemisia Gentileschi’s Susanna and the Elders by analyzing common conventions of other Susanna paintings and details from Artemisia’s life. According to Garrard, other painters sexualized, eroticized, and portrayed Susanna as vulnerable. Most scenes depicted by other painters glorify the rape of Susanna as a “celebration of sexual opportunity,” (150). Even exceptions such as Adriaan van der Burg that show the intense emotion of Susanna do not ask us to identify with her by idealizing her figure. Many times this is done by paralleling her to Venus, who is associated with sexuality. In contrast, Artemisia’s Susanna and the Elders depicts a dismayed woman turning away from the Elders. Although she is naked and vulnerable, she is not sexualized. Artemisia does this by borrowing her pose from Orestes’ nurse. Garrard
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