“More savage than Caravaggio,” writes The Guardian in a piece devoted to Artemisia Gentileschi, described as the greatest female artist of the Baroque age, a fearless painter who used her art to denounce the injustices and violence she suffered as a woman, including repeated rape when she was a teenager (her perpetrator never served time in jail).
At a time when women were mostly disregarded as accomplished artists, Gentileschi was able to achieve unprecedented success; she was the first woman to become a member of the prestigious Florence-based Accademia delle Arti e del Disegno, founded by Cosimo I de’ Medici in 1563.
Aiming to shed light on her work and legacy, a major exhibition, “Artemisia Gentileschi and Her Time,” (Artemisia Gentileschi e il suo Tempo) has opened this week at Museum of Rome in Palazzo Braschi, near Piazza Navona.
The exhibition covers the entire period of Gentileschi’s artistic career, and includes works by her contemporaries, showing the artists who influenced her (chiefly among them Caravaggio), and the artists who in turn were influenced by her. There are about 100 works on display from all over the world, both from private collections and from some of the most important museums in the world, including the Uffizi in Florence and the Metropolitan Museum in New York. The show represents a journey through 17th-century art following in the footsteps of a great woman and a great artist.
Among Gentileschi’s works on display are the famous Judith Slaying Holofernes (pictured above), Esther before Ahasuerus, Self-Portrait as a Lute Player, Susannah and the Elders, and Danae.
“Artemisia Gentileschi and Her Time” runs through May 7, 2017. Open Tuesday-Sunday, from 10 am to 7 pm (tickets office closes at 6 pm).