J. David, Engraved Portrait of Artemisia GentileschiMade in the maturity of her (Artemisia’s) career, as a marker of fame as an artist“She’s a miracle in painting!” written below her portrait, as if it was unbelievable for a woman artist to be successful. In addition, “more easily envied than imitated” shows her success and that even male artists could not imitate her talent. “Very famous paintress”, acknowledgement of her fame.Shows she had an affiliation w/ an art academy, which was a rare feat
Comparison to Guercino’s Susanna and the Elders
Artemisia Gentileschi, Susanna and the EldersSigned and dated (etched into the marble to assert that she painted)An example of a history painting: Susanna was taking a bath in the public baths and two men attempt to advance and try to have sex with her. She refused and cries out for help, and then the men accuse her of giving in. This is a biblical narrative. Susanna resisting (rare in painting) and not giving in was a sym. Of virtueHand gestures, body language, and twisted/contorted figure: Artemisia has clearly/closely looked at how people speak and react. Gives the work “spoken word” without words. Comp: to Guercino, where she is not actively resisting (appears oblivious to what’s happening); on-looking view vs. Artemisia’s closeness (feeling of passiveness rather than feeling Susanna’s emotion)
C. 1612/13C. 1620
Artemisia Gentileschi, Judith Decapitating HolofernesPainting based upon a story in the Old Testament, where Judith seduce an enemy soldier (Holofernes) and kills himIn Artemisia’s depiction of Judith decapitating Holofernes, there is definite force: Judith is actively trying to keep Holofernes down (rather than passive as seen in Caravaggio’s work). She has no hesitation in what she’s doing. There is a lot more blood.Reversal of gender roles (compared to Susanna and the Elders), females taking the role of men. Maidservant close in age to Judith, “two young, strong women” representationForeshortening: a method of representing an object in a picture in depth, [taking form and swinging it out of the picture at a 180 degree angle] (shows Artemisia’s technical skill, illusion that viewer is w/in painting)
Artemisia Gentileschi, Penitent Magdalene(Of her 57 paintings discovered, 49 feature/protagonize women)S-curve body: sym. of positivity and grace; proves that Artemisia actively studied mostly female figuresArgued to be self-portrait (distinguishing feature is her flyaway hair)?Pictures the dishevelment of Mary Magdalene, who was a sinful woman and prostitute, but becoming a follower of Christ and repents her past life. Proven with her hand on her heart (sincerity of apology; forgiveness).
Artemisia Gentileschi, Self-portrait as Allegory of PaintingWoman caught mid-action beginning to paint on canvas; self-portrait difficult to confirm (flyaway hair, yet generalized portraiture); [woman in an active role: idea of intellect, theory and practice)