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Artemisia Gentileschi
Birth: Jul. 8, 1593, Italy
Death: 1656, Italy

Baroque painter. She was born in Rome as daughter of the painter Orazio Gentileschi and Prudentia Montones. She was also taught painting by him. It was also him who sent her to Agostino Tassi to further her ability in perspective. Tassi raped her and afterwards promised to marry her to restore her honor. He was not able to stand to his promise because he was already married. Orazio insisted on a trial which happened in May 1612. Tassi claimed that she worked as a prostitute to discredit her. The humiliating gynecological examination to disprove his claim and the torture she had to undergo to verify her statement had great influence on her later work. Tassi was finally sentenced to eight months in prison, also because had stolen paintings. After the trial Orazio married her to Pietro Vincenzo Stattiesi and she left Rome for Florence where her daughter Prudenzia was born in 1620. In 1615 she received her first major commission from Michelangelo Buonarotti the younger (great nephew of Michelangelo) and joined the Accademia dell'Arte del Disegno a year later as the first woman. She soon became famous in Florence and was supported by Cosimo II de Medici for whose family she worked several times. She also befriended Galilei with who she exchanged letters for a long time afterwards. In 1623 she was so famous that she able to return to Rome. She worked there for seven years before moving to Naples. In 1635 she was invited to the court of Charles I, where her father worked as court painter. She came to London in 1637 and helped Orazio finish the painting of the ceiling of the Queen's House in Greenwich. Orazio died soon after it was finished and she returned to Naples. In her later years she had problems with her health and financial problems she died around 1653 and was buried in an unknown church in Naples. As she had been raised in her fathers studio she followed his stile as well as that of Orazios friend Caravaggio. She did not allow herself to be reduced the typical women motives of still lifes with flowers and fruits as well as portraits. Instead she painted large history scenes and mythological themes. While in Florence she slowly distanced herself from Orazios style and developed her own following Caravaggio. She favored the story of Judith which she painted several times in her career. While very famous during life she was forgotten after her death and only rediscovered in the twentieth century. (bio by: Lutetia) 
Body lost or destroyed
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Lutetia
Record added: Jul 04, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 28032448

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