OUTLINE AND RESOURCES REPORT
Artemisia Gentileschi is one of the few female artists whose name and work have survived in modern times. She lived during a period when women were considered inferior to men and thus not capable of creating serious art. The daughter of a painter, she managed to establish herself as an artist, one of the first women to do so, and was rediscovered by feminist art historians in the 20th century.
Thesis statement: Gentileschi’s experiences in life, as a woman in a male-dominated world, are clearly shown in her art, and particularly through the robust and strong women she depicts.
Very few women artists are known from the Renaissance and the Baroque periods and these are often treated as exceptions and not the rule by art historians. Feminist scholars like Whitney Chadwick have tried to change this perception in the later decades of the 20th century.
Gentileschi: her life and art
The daughter of a painter, Gentileschi managed to study art despite the beliefs of her time that banned her from studying in professional academies. Her life experiences as a woman and an artist however, were often not good.
Experience into art
Gentileschi’s experiences as a woman in a male-dominated world have influenced the artist’s work.
Chadwick, W. (2007). Women, Art and Society. London: Thames and Hudson.
The book provides an overview of the history of women artists that explains their expected role in past societies. Chadwick’s arguments are particularly helpful when one tries to understand the position of women in the history of art. In particular, the chapters on the Renaissance and the Baroque periods are of great importance in the scope of this essay.
Christiansen, K., and Mann, J.W. (2001). Orazio and Artemisia Gentileschi. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The book examines, through various articles, the life and career of both Artemisia Gentileschi and her father Orazio. It therefore places the artist in the context of her family, her father’s workshop and her everyday reality. The evidence is supported by a number of primary sources, both documents and works of art. The book will therefore provide me with the primary sources that are necessary for any research.
Cohen, E. S. (2000). The trials of Artemisia Gentileschi: a rape as history. Sixteenth Century Journal, vol. 31, 47-75.
Cohen examines the trials in which Gentileschi has been involved in her youth, after being raped by a friend of her father, the painter Agostino Tassi. This event is often seen as greatly influential in Gentileschi’s work. The author reexamines the details of the trials trying to see the impact these had in her life, art and artistic achievements. At the same time, she tries to look into the historical and social circumstances of 17th century Italy. The author concludes that the incident did not define Gentileschi, although it certainly influenced her. This view is interesting when one deals with how Gentileschi’s life experiences are depicted in her art.
Garrard, M.D. (1991). Artemisia Gentileschi: The Image of the Female Hero in Italian Baroque Art. New Jersey: Princeton University Press.
Examining the life of the artist and the way this affected her work, Garrard’s book is one of the first to deal exclusively with Artemisia Gentileschi. The author makes direct allusions between the artist’s life experiences and her paintings, examining specific works of art created by Gentileschi throughout her career. This point supports the thesis statement of the essay.