Lives of Artemisia Gentileschi presents a fascinating look at the famous Baroque artist. Artemisia Gentileschi (1593–1653) was an Italian painter known for the naturalism with which she depicted the female body and her use of rich colors and chiaroscuro. Born in Rome, she was trained by her father, the painter Orazio Gentileschi, and was working professionally by the time she was a teenager. In a period when women artists very rarely achieved success in their field, she was commissioned by royalty across Europe and was the first woman to become a member of Florence’s prestigious Accademia delle Arti del Disegno, later becoming an educator in the arts.
Lending further insight into the extraordinary life of this trailblazing artist, this volume presents an absorbing collection of letters, biographies, and court testimonies supplemented with essays written by contemporaries, several of which are published here in English for the first time. The vivid illustrations include three works that have only recently been attributed to Gentileschi. An introduction by Sheila Barker, founding director of the Jane Fortune Research Program on Women Artists, contextualizes these texts and discusses Gentileschi’s legacy.