Baroque Era Blog #2


          When I first saw paintings by Artemisia Gentileschi, I was instantly drawn to them. I simply just could not pick just one painting to focus on, so I picked two that told a story: “Judith Slaying Holofernes” painted from 1611-12 and “Judith and her Maidservant” painted from 1613-14. Both of these paintings were done in Italy.

          When I saw these paintings, I couldn’t help but ask, “What man in her life screwed her over?”. She painted gruesome painting of Judith and her maid slaying off Holofernes head, and carrying his head off in a basket. But what in her mind made her want to paint this scary biblical story?

          Artemisia Gentileschi was the daughter of a well-known Roman artist, Orazio Gentileschi. He taught Artemisia many techniques to painting. Later in her life she began studying under the care of her fathers close friend, Agostino Tassi. Shortly after Tassi was soon trialed for the rape if Artemisia. Could this be the cause of her hate-rid for men?

          The rape was very traumatic for her, as it would be for anyone else, but she didn’t let that stop her. However, it did impact her paintings. After the rape and the trial, her paintings became very graphic. She used her art as a way to cope with the physical and emotional pain of this time in her life. I feel, as well as many others, that she painted herself as Juidth and Agostino Tassi as Holofernes. Artemisia’s art work are very powerful women taking revenge on male evildoer as the Assyrian general Holofernes.

          In Artemisian Gentileschi’s time she became a very well known and famous artist. She was one of the first women artist to achieve recognition in the male-dominated world. She was the first woman to paint major historical and religious paintings.

          The Council of Trent, should be very proud of her work. The council have a few rules: be realistic, be clear with what you are describing, and have true biblical stories from the Catholic Church. Artemisia did these things along with using many beautiful techniques in these three paintings. The light to dark lighting was provides a dramatic tone. She used realistic figures as her main subjects, and she uses rich colors to grab your attention.

          I admire Artemisia for making a horrible situation turn into something that she can over come and learn from. I feel that everyone can learn from traumatic experiences in their life and they can gain something out of it like Artemisa did. Even though her art can be hate-rid for men, she has over come the male-dominated society and proved that she can become something of herself instead of a help-less rape victim. My overall like for her painting is much more than just a like in her are, but in herself as a person and the story she tells. 




7 thoughts on “Baroque Era Blog #2

  1. Wow I had no idea the story behind this artist! What a rough ordeal to go through in her life and yet she was able to use the hard time in her life to her advantage and to pull from it some really amazing paintings! I agree with your idea that the Council of Trent would have favored her work because it is just like the council described in terms of being from their bible and being realistic.

  2. I really admire these paintings and the skill that went into painting them. I had a hard time choosing which to write about for my blog, but she was definitely one of the artists I considered. Her story only emphasizes the emotion behind her paintings. Usually, I am able to appreciate art without the back story, but in this case I think her paintings are more emphatic. The council of Trent would have favored her work, I agree! They were all about in the moment, emotion evoking artwork. And her art does exactly that.

  3. This piece caught my attention also, mainly because of curiousity. My first reaction was pretty much shock and I was so interested in reading this story. It is very clear and evident that she used painting as an outlet to release her pain. I love how everything is just so dramatic. This just tells you what kind of person she is and how much emotion she put into her work. Great job on the summary! In my opinion she paved the way for all woman artists. Not only in her work but in her character as well, she showed that you can move forward after you been pushed down.

  4. This was a very graphic painting, i was caught off guard with the imagine that was displayed. It was not until after i read the summary could i really understand what was taking place in this painting. It is basically a portrayal of revenge. The painter wanted to show her audience that even after all that she had been through she could still move one.

  5. I agree with you that these pieces of art are very thought provoking. What would cause a woman to do such a thing especially in those times? I am very interested in historical art especially when there is a very real story behind it. The biblical times I find extremely fascinating being a Christian, but I would like to caution you. When referencing a “biblical story” it is very important to mention which Bible the story comes from. I automatically went and grabbed my Bible because I don’t ever remember learning about this story growing up. I have the English Standard Version of the Bible and it wasn’t in there. I had to search to find which one it was in. I finally found it in the Catholic Bible. Such a very real and sad story Judith had to live through but she is a very brave woman as well. Good blog and some really good information.

  6. This painting intrigued me when I first saw it as well. The contrast to light and dark in the piece really draws out the emotion from the actions taking place in the painting. Overall I enjoyed your submission as it was descriptive and it told a concise story. My only critique would be that you had an occasional grammatical error or flaw in sentence structure. Other than that, great job!

  7. You did a marvelous job making us readers empathize with the painter! Her story is very thought provoking, as are her paintings. The contrast from light to dark shrouds this piece in mystery, and I am personally drawn to that. They are both graphic pieces, but they tell an important story. I knew exactly which biblical story this was because of my upbringing, but adwoodard does have a point about making sure to cite which bible and story it is. I liked your connection to the council of trent, but I don’t agree that they would or should have liked it. It is graphic and portrays things that I think the church would want to distance itself from. I enjoyed this post a lot. Makes me wonder what her father thought of the paintings, because they did stem from the hatred of his close friend.

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