Self-Portrait as the Allegory of Painting by Artemisia Gentileschi
  1. prflaming

    I agree with your statement that Artemisia’s works of art do have an element of feminism. With the artwork titled “Judith slaying Holofernes” take a look at the rolled up sleeves that both women have and how aggressive they look to be beheading someone for a cause. They are taking charge and making difficult decisions to change the way things were. Also, Artemisia overcoming the entire rape incident with Tassi definitely was a daunting task. She is an admirable artist, I think I would want to own her self portrait as well. It is a little more peaceful than her other works of art.

    1. Mary Farnstrom

      Yes exactly! There are a LOT of blatantly aggressive scenes in her paintings and she definitely put her own internal turmoil to work, possibly even by using her artwork as a cathartic release for her anger.

  2. Leigh

    What a tragic backstory! I love that you spotlighted a woman during the Baroque period and I agree with you that she was influenced by royalty. In the painting “Self-Portrait as the Allegory of Painting”, I really like how focused she appears to be on her work and I enjoy the earthy colors. Reading your blog made me wonder how many artists during the Baroque era were women. It seems there were very few other women painting during this time, I could only find about 7 others. For Artemisia to be so accomplished in a time dominated by men is pretty inspiring.

    1. Mary Farnstrom

      I know, it was a terrible thing for her to have gone through; but at the same time, it feels as if that’s what drove her to be so passionate in representing her own truth. I think, along with another self-portrait she did of herself with a lute, her “Self-Portrait as the Allegory of Painting” is possibly the most peaceful paintings she created. As if self-reflection brought out who she was to herself.

      I’m pretty sure you found all of the other women that were active artists at the time. There weren’t very many because they weren’t allowed to be taught in a formal capacity. Like Artemisia they would have had to be taught by a family member, or possibly a friend.

  3. Winter Grasso

    I really like the angle you went with on this post! It was great to highlight a woman in a sea of male painters. I love all the paintings you chose. Judith Slaying Holofernes is one of my favorite paintings. I love the execution in her paintings and the depth and use of dark and light. It is interesting to hear the connection you made between this artist and her social climate, and today. I wonder what the specifics of the realities of women in the art world were at the time. I bet they had to work so much harder to achieve the same goal.

    1. Mary Farnstrom

      Thank you! I love that painting as well, there is so much emotion in it and the anger is so controlled, yet still somehow palpable! I think, or at least I’d like to believe, that the pioneering spirit of these women who made their way in a man’s world was done with a barren field of “fucks.” Excuse the language.

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