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Artemesia Gentileschi

Artemesia Gentileschi was very different from other artisis of her time. Being a woman painter was all but unheard of during the High Renaissance. She had the style of Caravaggio, while at the same time bringing in women's characters who were in the position of power. Throughout art history, an idea that women are present solely for men to look at has been shown. This could be abecause men have generally been the target audience, and naked women the subject. In her paintings, Gentileschi shifted the focus to women and showed them as real people. She was both praised and scorned by the critics of her time. She was thought a genious, yet terrible because she was a woman in what was thought to be a man's area of expertise. Like many other women artists of her time who were banned from apprenticeship with successful artists, Gentileschi was the daughter of a painter. She was born in Rome on July 8, 1593, the daughter of Orazio and Prudentia Monotone Gentileschi. Her mother died when Artemesia was only twelve. Her father trained her as an artist and introduced her to some of the artists of Rome, including Michaelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, whose chiaroscuro style (contrast of light and shadow) greatly influenced Artemesia Gentileschi's work. Other than artistic training, she had little or no schooling. She did not learn to read or write until she was an adult. However, by the time she was seventeen, she had produced one of the works for which she is best known, her beautiful version of Susannna and the Elders (1610). Orazio worked with a Florentine artist, Agostino Tassi, whom Artemesia accused of raping her in 1612, when she was nineteen. Her father filed suit against Tassi with the help of family and friends attempted to be alone with her repeatedly, and raped her when he finally succeeded in cornering her innher bedroom. He tried to appease her afterward by promising to marry her. Tassi gained access to her bedroom...

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