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'Lucretia' by Artemisia Gentileschi. 17th century painting


'Lucretia' by Artemisia Gentileschi. 17th century painting



Lucretia by Artemisia Gentileschi, oil on canvas, 133 x 106 cm. Sold 23/10/2018 for EUR 1,885,000

By the last decades of the 16th century, the refined Mannerism style had ceased to be an effective means of religious art expression. Catholic Church fought against Protestant Reformation to re-establish its dominance in European art by infusing Renaissance aesthetics enhanced by a new exuberant extravagance and penchant for the ornate. The new style was coined Baroque and roughly coincides with the 17th century. Baroque emphasizes dramatic motion, clear, easily interpreted grandeur, sensuous richness, drama, dynamism, movement, tension, emotional exuberance, and details, and often defined as being bizarre, or uneven. The term Baroque likely derived from the Italian word barocco, used by earlier scholars to name an obstacle in schematic logic to denote a contorted idea or involuted process of thought. Another possible source is the Portuguese word barroco (Spanish barrueco), used to describe an irregular or imperfectly shaped pearl, and this usage still survives in the jeweler’s term baroque pearl. Baroque spread across Europe led by the Pope in Rome and powerful religious orders as well as Catholic monarchs to Northern Italy, France, Spain, Flanders, Portugal, Austria, southern Germany, and colonial South America.

Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-1656) was an Italian Baroque painter and the first woman to become a member of the Accademia di Arte del Disegno in Florence. She was born in Rome to the painter Orazio Gentileschi and was trained by him from a young age. Artemisia's style was heavily influenced by Caravaggio, with her use of dramatic lighting and intense realism. She often depicted powerful women from mythological and biblical stories, such as Judith beheading Holofernes and Susanna and the Elders. Artemisia's life was marked by personal tragedy and controversy. She was raped by her father's colleague, Agostino Tassi, when she was 17 years old, and the subsequent trial brought her great notoriety. She later married and had children, but her husband was unfaithful and she struggled financially. Despite these challenges, Artemisia continued to paint and gained recognition for her talent during her lifetime. Today, she is celebrated as one of the most important female artists of the Baroque era.






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