At last Artemisia!

1.  Chadwick places Artemisia Gentileschi at the end of the Renaissance chapter rather than in the category of Baroque art of the seventeenth century.  Do you feel that she “belongs” there or do you see her oeuvre in a different light than the other artists we have discussed?

2.  Does Artemisia’s training follow the pattern we have encountered thus far?  How does it differ?

3.  In what ways does the rape by Agostino Tassi impact Artemisia’s work?  Do you see a danger in reading too much into her strong female biblical heroines in light of the sexual trauma she experienced?

4.  Perhaps equally egregious was the trial that ensued after Orazio brought suit against Tassi. The transcripts for this trial still exist!  One month after the trial ended, Artemisia married a Florentine, moved to Florence and joined the Academy in 1616.  Discuss her path in light of her personal history.

5.  Consider Artemisia’s Susanna and the Elders.  Mary Garrard speaks about the sober expression in this painting of the reality of women’s “confined and vulnerable position in a society whose rules are made by men.”  She contrasts this vulnerability to the “castrating” and violent nature of Artemisia’s renderings of Judith.  Discuss.

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3 responses

  1. 1. I feel like she does belong between the two, so I see why Chadwick would put her there.

    2. She studied with her father, which is typical of what we have seen so far. Her studying under another man privately differs from what we have seen.

    3. I don’t know how much we can use this information to evaluate her work. Clearly it was a traumatic experience, but her work should not be examined in a “before and after” manner, since all of her work is amazing.

    4. Her move to Florence allowed her to become a successful artist and escape the shadow of her father.

    5. It seems that so much of her work is seen in a biographical light. While I accept this assertion as an interpretation, her work should be seen outside of a biographical context.

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