Warning: This video contains references to sexual assault.
Women were excluded from almost all cultural and social resources in the centuries from 1400 to 1900 when so much of the world’s great art was created. And visual art was almost entirely a male industry before modern times.
Having an artist for a father was about the only way women could get access to the training expected of artists in Renaissance and baroque Europe. Women were not allowed to do apprenticeships, attend life classes or be members of the academies. Orazio Gentileschi, Artemisia’s father, was a well-known painter, who saw the potential in her from an early age and promoted her talent.
Gentileschi became the very first woman accepted into the prestigious Florentine Academy of Fine Arts.
Through her talent and determination she had a 40-year career, and was collected by the likes of Charles I of England and Philip 4th of Spain.
And yet, she was largely forgotten and written out of art history for 300 years. Why? The simple answer is, because she was a woman.
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Chinese subtitles by Charles Xue
Artemisia Gentileschi: The Language of Painting – Jesse M Lockner
The Obstacle Race – Germaine Greer
Lives of Artemisia Gentileschi
The Accademia delle Arti Del Disegno – oldest arts institution in Florence Italy
1971 first Women’s Liberation Movement March
Judith Beheading Holofernes, Artemisia Gentileschi, 199×162 cm, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence
’Self Portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria’, Artemisia Gentileschi, about 1615-17, National Gallery, London
Images from the Wikimedia Commons.