Florentine painter Artemisia Gentileschi nearly put my eye out when I saw her work for the first time in person in Florence a couple of years ago. Brilliant!
A woman painter in the Baroque period (1593-1656), she must have been one helluva gutsy broad. And her talent and skill couldn't be denied. She was a genius with light, color and her twisted forms and angles are so powerful.
This painting is called Judith Slaying Holfernes and it comes from some branch of the Old Testament.
I don't know the Bible stories but you may and if you'r curious, here's a version. Anyway, it's a bloody violent painting, right?
This is passionate, courageous painting in any century. I wonder if I'd consider it what I call "shock jock" art now. I'm fresh from a conversation about art that is made, maybe, to get a shocked reaction from the audience and then is talked about.
After looking at these today, I wonder how valid that opinion is.
All that aside, Artemsia's light and shadow work is breathtaking isn't it? And check out the foreshortening of the shoulders and arms in this painting and the next. Compositionally, it's really cool too. These folks really knew their craft.
And that's something I really appreciate.
She borrowed the composition of Narcissus by Caravaggio (see below) and turned it on it's side.
She's saying something like artists are like Narcissus in that we draw from ourselves. Was she also speaking to how self-involved artists can be? Only slightly tongue-in-cheek here.
Anyway, there were quite of few re-pins of the Judith painting on Pinterest so I figured you might be interested in a closer look.
Hope you enjoyed this. Let me know if you'd like more Great Moments in Art History Posts. I could make it a regular thing. If there aren't any comments, I'll assume y'all fell asleep. But I love you anyway.