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Artemisia Gentileschi
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Artist
    (July 8, 1593-circa 1656)
    Born in Rome, Italy
    Early baroque painter
    Influenced by Caravaggio
    Paintings include 'Susannah and the Elders' (1610), 'Judith and Her Maidservant' (1614) and 'Judith Slaying Holofernes' (1620)
    She reportedly posed nude for her painter father.
    She did not learn to read or write until she was an adult.
    Many of her paintings were misattributed to her father.
    The 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica called her 'Judith Slaying Holofernes' 'repulsive and unwomanly in its physical horror.'
    Much of her current fame is based more on her status as a feminist icon than her art.
    When she was 19, she was raped by painter Agostino Tassi.
    During the trial, to ensure the truthfulness of her testimony, she was tortured with thumbscrews.
    Tassi was convicted, but never served any time for the crime.
    She was one of the few women of her day to earn a living as an artist, and the only one to do so painting historical and religious scenes instead of the traditional feminine subjects of portraits and still lifes.
    She had a long term friendship with Galileo.
    She wrote, 'I have seen myself honored by all the kings and rulers of Europe to whom I have sent my works.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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