Considered one of the most important artists of the Baroque movement in Early Modern Europe, Artemisia Gentileschi, faced many obstacles to prove herself in a field that was dominated by the male population. “Artemisia was born in Rome on July 8, 1953 to Orazio and Prudentia Monotone Gentileschi. Her mother died when she was only twelve years old. Her upbringing was left to her father, who was also a well-known painter. He trained her himself, since she was not permitted to learn in the studios of the successful artists of the moment.”(Art History Archive) Orazio introduced his daughter to his “friend, follower, and rival,”(Janson 667) Caravaggio, whose tenebrism technique and chiaroscuro style had a great influence on her paintings. (Janson 667) “Agostino Tassi was a Florentine artist and an acquaintance of Orazio. Unfortunately at the age of nineteen, Artemisia, accused Tassi of rape and after a seven month long trial, Tassi was found guilty. Shortly after the trial, Artemisia was in an arranged marriage to a Florentine artist, named Pietro Antonio di Vincenzo Stiattesi, and the couple moved to Florence.”(Art History Archive) Nevertheless, the marriage did not last long. Even though Artemisia faced many struggles early on in her life, she was able to gain a sense of strength from them, and convert them into unique pieces of art. Artemisia seemed to be captivated with the biblical story of Judith, in which she painted several versions of. One of which was Judith Beheading Holofernes. Artemisia captures the brutality of the moment. Her Judith is very forceful, with no hint of hesitation in the act, which brought dominance to the painting. (Janson 668) The lighting used, guides the viewer’s eyes toward the women and essential to the bottom, where you see the man’s head wrapped around bloody sheets. (Janson 688) In conclusion, Artemisia Gentileschi had to struggle with many difficulties throughout her personal and professional life....
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