Artemisia Gentileschi and International Patronage

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As a painter in the seventeenth century, Artemisia Gentileschi primarily gained acclaim in a historical sense not because of her identity as a woman but because of her ambition. Gentileschi was not the only woman to gain access to formal training, which in her case was through her father. It was her application of these tools, fueled by her continued pursuit of more commissions, that created a situation in which she found herself achieving success among her contemporaries. She leveraged an extensive network of patrons across many European cities and did not shy away from a more public historical style of painting in favor of portraiture or still lives. In many respects, she depicted bold subject matter, presenting female heroines in the familiar context of religious imagery, but she composed her pieces in an entirely new way. In each of her pieces, the viewer experiences an emotional perception of the subject matter that had not been previously portrayed until her investigation. This exhibit will examine Artemisia Gentileschi’s relationship, both personally and geographically, with a number of her patrons.