|Judith Slaying Holofernes (1614–20) Oil on canvas 199 x 162 cm Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence|
|Judith and her Maidservant (1613–14) Oil on canvas Palazzo Pitti, Florence|
Lots of amazing artists born in the last week or so- David Hockney, Whistler, de Chiricio, Artimesia Gentileschi, Pisarro. For me, Artimesia Gentileschi is the most interesting one of the bunch - raped, maligned, tortured and yet, she perservered to become one of the best artists in the 17th century
That she was a woman painting in the seventeenth century and that she was raped and participated in the prosecution of the rapist long overshadowed her achievements as an artist. For many years she was regarded as a curiosity. Today she is regarded as one of the most progressive and expressive painters of her generation. She was born on July 8th, so this is a little late, but better late than never.
The daughter of a renowned painter, she was trained by her father, raped by one of his painting companions, torturned when she reported the rape to the authorities and put on trial. After the trial, she was quickly married off and the couple moved to Florence. She became a successful painter, enjoying the patronage of the Medici and Charles I of England.
Artemisia was once thought to have died in 1652/1653; however, recent evidence has shown that she was still accepting commissions in 1654, although she was increasingly dependent upon her assistant, Onofrio Palumbo, especially as tastes changed to favor a more sentimental, religious style.
Some have speculated that she died in the devastating plague that swept Naples in 1656 and virtually wiped out an entire generation of Neapolitan artists.
Images from Wikiedia