Arte Gentileschi

allegory = the representation of abstract ideas or principles by characters, figures, or events in narrative, dramatic, or pictorial form.

Artemisia Gentileschi, Self-Portrait as the Allegory of Painting, c. 1630s.











Artemisia Genitleschi
1593 - 1653


Artemisia Gentileschi, Susanna and the Elders, 1610.











How Artemisia departs from tradition in her image of Susanna:
Susanna placed center and near the bottom edge so that viewer relates with her more than the other figures
Removes Susanna from the garden
Bathing Susanna
1560 - 1562
Portrays Susanna as disgusted and horrified by the advances rather than as a seductress
before 1607
Presents Susanna as unwillingly exposed rather than allow viewer to gaze upon her with voyeuristic freedom
Composition implies third spectator, implicating the viewer
Artemisia Gentileschi,
Susanna and the Elders, 1610.











Judith and Maidservant
Judith and Maidservant
Orazio Gentileschi, Judith and Maidservant,
c. 1608 - 1609.

Artemisia Gentileschi, Judith and Maidservant,
1612 - 1613.












Sold for $30,490,000 in 2016











Agostino Tassi, The Embarkation of a Queen, c. 1615.


more on the trial











Judith and Maidservant with the Head of Holofernes

Artemisia Gentileschi, Judith and Maidservant with the Head of Holofernes, c. 1625.


more on Judith











chiaroscuro = contrast between light and dark
tenebrism = use of strong chiaroscuro and artificially illuminated areas to create dramatic contrast of light and dark in a painting
  • Boldly illuminated figures set against dark backgrounds

Conversion of St. Paul


  • Single light source usually outside of the picture plane
  • Use of unidealized bodies and non-professional models
  • Theatrical and dramatic compositions
Those who followed Caravaggio's style were called "the Caravaggisti"
Caravaggio, Conversion of St. Paul, 1601.
Artemisia Gentileschi, Lucretia, 1621.











Lavinia Fontana, Judith and Holofernes, 1613.

Elisabetta Sirani, Judith with the Head of Holofernes, c. 1660.











Judith Slaying Holofernes

Artemisia Gentileschi,
Judith Decapitating Holofernes, 1614 - 1620.

Artemisia Gentileschi,
Judith Decapitating Holofernes, c. 1618.











Judith Slaying Holofernes

Caravaggio, Judith Slaying Holofernes, c. 1599.











Artemisia Gentileschi, The Sleeping Venus, 1630.