Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Woman Artist - Women by Elisabetta Sirani 1638-1665 including the murder of Holofernes by Judith

Italian artist Elisabetta Sirani (1638–1665) died when she was 27. By that age, she had already created 200 paintings, drawings, & etchings.

Elisabetta Sirani (1638-1665) Judith with the Head of Holofernes, 1658

Sirani spent her short life in Bologna, a city famous for its progressive attitude toward women's rights & female artists.

Elisabetta Sirani (1638-1665) Judith with the Head of Holofernes

She was the daughter of artist Giovanni Andrea Sirani (1610-70), who had been Guido Reni's principal assistant.

Elisabetta Sirani (1638-1665) Judith with the Head of Holofernes

Encouraged by Carlo Malvasia, her mentor & eventual biographer, she was painting professionally by the age of 17.  Trained by her father, Sirani ran her family's art workshop by the age of 19, supporting her parents, 3 siblings, & herself. Her father could paint no longer because of gout.

Elisabetta Sirani (1638-1665) Melpomene

Sirani's portraits, mythological subjects, & biblical images gained widespread fame. Her works were acquired by wealthy, noble, & even royal patrons, including the Grand Duke Cosimo III de Medici.  She painted so fast, that it was commonly believed that she had help painting. In order to refute the charges, dignitaries from all over Europe were invited to watch her paint a portrait in one sitting.  One story about the Grand Duke Cosimo III de Medici, who visited her studio in 1664, attests to Sirani's rapid working methods. After he watched her work on a portrait of his uncle Prince Leopold, Cosimo ordered a Madonna for himself, which Sirani allegedly executed so quickly so that it could dry enough to be taken home with him!

Elisabetta Sirani (1638-1665) Personification Of Music

Sirani died-suddenly, after experiencing severe stomach pains probably caused by perforated ulcers. Sirani's funeral was an elaborate affair involving formal orations, special poetry & music, and an enormous catafalque decorated with a life-size sculpture of the deceased.

Elisabetta Sirani (1638-1665) Portrait of Beatrice Cenci 1662

Her teaching legacy included her two sisters, Barbara & Anna Maria, plus more than a dozen other young women who became professional painters in Bologna.

Elisabetta Sirani (1638-1665) The Flea

Women by Girolamo Forabosco 1605-1679 including the murder of Holofernes by Judith

Girolamo Forabosco (1605-1679) painted women in allegorical history settings, but most of these women were his contemporaries. They reflect his society. Elaborate hair & elegant costumes plus a mirror.  He was active in Padua & Venice, where he was enrolled in the Fraglia dei Pittori between 1634 & 1639 & paid taxes from 1640 to 1644.


Girolamo Forabosco (1605-1679) Lady with a Dog


Girolamo Forabosco (1605-1679) Portrait of a Venetian 1659


Girolamo Forabosco (1605-1679) Portrait of a Courtesan


Girolamo Forabosco (1605-1679) Judith with the head of Holofernes


Girolamo Forabosco (1605-1679) Portrait of a Courtesan


Girolamo Forabosco (1605-1679) Portrait of a Woman


Girolamo Forabosco (1605-1679) Vanitas


Girolamo Forabosco (1605-1679) Venetian Wife


Girolamo Forabosco (1605-1679) Courtesan


Girolamo Forabosco (1605-1679) Courtesan


Girolamo Forabosco (1605-1679) Story of Joseph & Potiphar's Wife


Girolamo Forabosco (1605-1679) Portrait of a Woman Half Length


Girolamo Forabosco (1605-1679) Ragazza Allo Specchio


Girolamo Forabosco (1605-1679) Portrait of a Lady

Girolamo Forabosco (1605-1679) Portrait of a Lady in a Grey Dress with Fur

Women Artist - Women by Artemisia Gentileschi 1593–1652 including the murder of Holofernes by Judith

Artemisia Gentileschi (Italian artist, 1593–1652) Saint Cecilia c 1620


Artemisia Gentileschi (Italian artist, 1593–1652) Judith and Her Maid Servant with the Head of Holofernes c 1613

Artemisia Gentileschi 1593–1652 was an Italian Early Baroque painter, influenced by Caravaggio. She was the 1st female painter to become a member of the Accademia di Arte del Disegno in Florence.


Artemisia Gentileschi (Italian artist, 1593–1652) Jael and Sisera c 1620

Artemisia painted pictures of strong, suffering women from myth & the Bible - victims, suicides, warriors. She was especially drawn to the biblical stories of Judith beheading Holofernes story & to the sexual assault of Susanna.


Artemisia Gentileschi (Italian artist, 1593–1652) Susanna and the Elders c 1610

Artemisia was born in Rome, the eldest child of the Tuscan painter Orazio Gentileschi. She learned painting under her father, whose style took inspiration from Caravaggio during that period, but her approach to subject matter was realistic & natural, where Orazio's were idealized.


Artemisia Gentileschi (Italian artist, 1593–1652) Judith Beheading Holofernes c 1612

Susanna & the Elders was one of the earliest works of 17-year-old Artemisia, depicting the sexual assault of the two Elders as a traumatic event. Artemisia was herself assaulted sexually, although it was after the completion of this painting.


Artemisia Gentileschi (Italian artist, 1593–1652) Penitent Magdalene c 1631

In 1612, her father was working with Agostino Tassi to decorate the vaults of Casino della Rose inside the Pallavicini Rospigliosi Palace in Rome. Orazio hired the painter to tutor his daughter privately. During this tutelage, Tassi raped Artemisia. Another man, Cosimo Quorlis helped Tassi with the rape.


Artemisia Gentileschi (Italian artist, 1593–1652) Judith Beheading Holofernes c 1620

After the initial rape, Artemisia continued to have sexual relations with Tassi, believing that they were going to be married. However, Tassi reneged on his promise to marry Artemisia; after he claimed that he heard a rumour, that she was having an affair with another man.


Artemisia Gentileschi (Italian artist, 1593–1652) Susanna and the Elders c 1622

The livid father Orazio pressed charges against Tassi, when he learned that Artemisia & Tassi were not going to be married. Orazio also claimed that Tassi stole a painting of Judith from the Gentileschi household. The major issue of the trial was the initial rape of Artemisia. If Artemisia had not been a virgin before Tassi raped her, the Gentileschis would not have been able to press charges.


Artemisia Gentileschi (Italian artist, 1593–1652) Judith and Her Maidservant with the Head of Holofernes

In the ensuing 7-month trial, it was discovered that Tassi also had planned to murder his wife, had committed adultery with his sister-in-law, & had planned to steal some of Orazio’s paintings.


Artemisia Gentileschi (Italian artist, 1593–1652) Corsica and Satyr c 1640

During the trial, Artemisia was given a gynecological examination & was tortured using thumbscrews. But the young artist finally won the court case. At the end of the trial Tassi was sentenced to imprisonment for 1 year, although he never served the time.


Artemisia Gentileschi (Italian artist, 1593–1652) Mary Magdalen

One month after the trial, Orazio hastily arranged for his daughter to marry Pierantonio Stiattesi, a modest artist from Florence. Shortly afterwards the couple moved to Florence, where Artemisia received a commission for a painting at Casa Buonarroti & became a successful court painter, enjoying the patronage of the Medici family and Charles I.


Artemisia Gentileschi (Italian artist, 1593–1652) Salome with the Head of John the Baptist

While in Florence, Artemisia & Pierantonio had four sons & one daughter. But only the daughter, Prudenzia, survived to adulthood. During the 1620s she also worked in Genoa and Venice; but by 1630, she settled in Naples, where she remained for the rest of her life, except for a brief excursion to London.


Artemisia Gentileschi (Italian artist, 1593–1652) Mary Magdalen as Melancholy c 1622

Well over 35 extant paintings are attributed to Artemisia, but it is difficult to sort out which are actually hers. Her most powerful paintings are of vulnerable but strong women, and these are examples of those.


Artemisia Gentileschi (Italian artist, 1593–1652) Esther Before Ahasuerus c 1630

Artemisia Gentileschi (Italian artist, 1593–1652 St Catherine of Alexandria

Artemisia Gentileschi (Italian artist, 1593–1652) Susanna and the Elders c 1649

Artemisia Gentileschi (Italian artist, 1593–1652 Lucretia c 1642

Artemisia Gentileschi (Italian artist, 1593–1652) Lot and his Daughters c 1636

Woman Artist - Fede Galizia 1578-1630 including the murder of Holofernes by Judith

Fede Galizia (1578 – 1630) was an Italian Renaissance painter, a pioneer of the still life genre. Known as Galizia, she was born in Milan. Her father, artist Nunzio Galizia, also a painter of miniatures, had moved to Milan from Trento.

Fede Galizia (Italian painter, 1578-1630), Judith with the Head of Holofernes

Fede learned to paint from her father. By the age of 12, she was sufficiently accomplished as an artist to be mentioned by Gian Paolo Lomazzo, a painter & art theorist friend of her father, who wrote, "This girl dedicates herself to imitate our most extraordinary art."

Fede Galizia (Italian painter, 1578-1630), Still Life

Although she reportedly composed other versions of "Judith with the Head of Holofernes," Galizia is best-known today for her pioneering still-life paintings — simple, elegant compositions featuring form and color rather than showy displays of wealth.  Some of the most highly skilled practitioners of still-life painting in Italy during this period were women, whose gender usually excluded them from painting grander subjects, such as histories & allegories.

Fede Galizia (Italian painter, 1578-1630), Still Life



Fede Galizia (Italian painter, 1578-1630), Maiolica Basket of Fruit, 1610s.

Women by Orazio Lomi Gentileschi Italian artist, 1563–1639 including the murder of Holofernes by Judith

Orazio Lomi Gentileschi (Italian artist, 1563–1639) Woman as Sibyl 1620


Orazio Lomi Gentileschi (Italian artist, 1563–1639) Saint Cecilia and an Angel


Orazio Lomi Gentileschi (Italian artist, 1563–1639) Portrait of a Lady in Gold


Orazio Lomi Gentileschi (Italian artist, 1563–1639) Judith with the Head of Holofernes 1612


Orazio Lomi Gentileschi (Italian artist, 1563–1639) Mary Magdalene


Orazio Lomi Gentileschi (Italian artist, 1563–1639) Finding Moses


Orazio Lomi Gentileschi (Italian artist, 1563–1639) Felicity Triumphing over Perils


Orazio Lomi Gentileschi (Italian artist, 1563–1639) Two Women with a Mirror


Orazio Lomi Gentileschi (Italian artist, 1563–1639) The Lute Player


Orazio Lomi Gentileschi (Italian artist, 1563–1639) Sts Cecilia, Valerianus and Tiburtius 1620


Orazio Lomi Gentileschi (Italian artist, 1563–1639) St. Cecilia