Artemisia Gentileschi
( 1593 - 1653 )

[ Baroque ] [ More Baroque ] [ Artemisia Gentileschi ] [ Judith Leyster ]

Profoundly influenced by Caravaggio, Artemisia Gentileschi pursued a successful career in Florence, Venice, Naples, and Rome, earning, at last, recognition from her peers.

Susannah and the Elders (1610)

 

Judith Slaying Holofernes (1612-1613)

One of Gentileschi's favorite subjects, recurring in various versions was the Old Testatment story of Judith and Holofernes, also told in The Book of Judith (which didn't make it into the Old Testament.) Holofernes, Israel's enemy, falls in love with Judith and invites her into his tent. As he sleeps, Judith, assisted by her handmaiden, cuts off his head. "The action takes place in a curtained, oppressively closed space. The atmosphere of menace and horror is thickened by the heavy darks, scarcely relieved by the feeble candle. the sole source of light" (Tansey and Kleiner 839).

 

Judith and Her Maidservant with the Head of Holofernes (1625)

The painting here portrays a sense of dramatic power and impending danger. Will Judith and her handmaiden escape undetected from Holofernes' tent with the evidence (his head) in a sack.

Another woman artist of the 17th century was the Dutch painter, Judith Leyster,
follow link [ Leyster ]

 

All images from Mark Harden's Artchive. Online Available
< http://www.artchive.com/artchive/G/gentileschi.html#images >

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Tansey, Richard and Fred Kleiner. Gardner's Art through the Ages, vol. ii, 10th edition.
Fort Worth, et al.: Harcourt Brace College Publishers, 1996.