Artemisia — Pouvoir, Gloire et Passions d’une femme peintre
Pouvoir, Gloire et Passions d’une femme peintre
Past: March 14 → June 15, 2012
Born “Artemisia Gentileschi,” she was the daughter of one of Rome’s greatest painters of the Baroque period.
In 17th century Italy, a woman was treated by society like a juvenile throughout her life: she belonged to her father, her husband, her brothers or her sons. However, Artemisia Gentileschi broke all those rules; she belonged only to her art. In her search for glory and freedom, she worked for princes and cardinals, earning her living from her brush and tirelessly creating a body of work. Such was her talent and creative power that she became one of the most famous painters of her time and one of the world’s greatest artists.
Her personal life and her career were both profoundly influenced by the rape that she endured in her youth, and the notorious court action brought by her father against her aggressor, Agostini Tassi. The scandal has also been a factor in the lack of recognition for her undoubted genius. As with Caravaggio, it has taken more than three centuries for her work to be fully recognised once again and to be universally appreciated.
On show for the first time in France, the exhibition at the Musée Maillol now provides an opportunity to discover the paintings of Artemisia Gentileschi.
The exhibition follows the main stages of her career: the early days in Rome with her father, a great Baroque painter, the Florence years, under the protection of the Grand Duke of the Medicis, when she was a friend of Galileo. During this period, she would become the first woman ever to be admitted to the art school Accademia del Disegno. In the 1620s in Rome, she was a leading figure among the painters influenced by Caravaggio and a friend of the great masters, such as Simon Vouet and Massimo Stanzione. Her work was recognised by Europe’s leading art collectors. During the period spent in Naples, she was at the height of her powers: for 25 years she ran her studios, where she trained some of the most gifted artists of the next generation: Cavallino, Spardaro, Guarino.
“But you will see the works,” she wrote to one of her patrons: “and the works will speak for themselves.”
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