My idol of the Renaissance period is the famous woman artist named Artemisia Gentileschi. She was born in Rome on July 8, 1593. Her father was a well-know Roman artist named Orazio Gentileschi and my mother was named Prudentia Monotone. She died when Artemisia was twelve. Most women artists in this post-Renaissance era were limited to portrait paintings and poses. She was the first woman to paint major historical and religious scenarios, such as her painting, Judith Beheading Holofernes, c. 1620.
At an early age she experienced loss. Two of her brothers died during childhood and her mother died while giving birth. Showing some artistic skill, Artemisia received some early training from her father. After art academies rejected her, her father hired his friend, Agostino Tassi, to teach her. In 1612, she was sexually assaulted by him. The trial was seven long months. Artemisia was tortured with thumb screws in order to make her tell the truth of her claims. He was ultimately convicted, but Artemisa had a tarnished reputation after. She had been publicly humiliated and was severely criticized then and in her life forward.
Artemisia’s first painting was named, Susanna and the Elder, c 1610. She was seventeen when she painted it. Michelangelo had a major influence on her style. The painting depicts the biblical story of Susanna, a young wife who was sexually harassed by the elder of her community. She shows her as vulnerable and frightened, while the men are conspiring behind her. This painting was completed before the rape, but it might be a depiction of the harassment from Tassi. The trauma of the rape impacted how she painted; she often painted graphic depictions of people dealing with pain.
In 1612, she came to Florence, Italy where her father arranged for her to marry a Florentine artist name Pietro Antonia di Vincenzo Stiattesi. They became official members of the Academie del Disegno (Academy of Design) in 1616, which was a...
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