Artemisia Gentileschi, Orazio Gentileschi, Cristofano Bronzini, Sir Théodore Turquet de Mayerne, and Filippo Baldinucci
Artemisia Gentileschi (1593–after 1654) was an Italian painter and the most ambitious and influential female painter of her time. She spread the Caravaggesque style throughout Italy and expanded the narrow possibilities for female artists. Artemisia was taught to paint by her father, Orazio Gentileschi, who painted directly on the canvas and used live models. Her paint-handling in her early works reflects her father's influence, yet she also departed from him by choosing to paint tense, dramatic narratives starring female heroines. In 1612, Artemisia left Rome for Florence, after taking part in a trial against her art teacher, Agostino Tassi, who allegedly raped her. Shortly after, she painted her interpretation of Caravaggio's Judith Beheading Holofernes, taking a more arresting and gruesome approach to the subject than was common at the time. In the 1620s, Artemisia was living again in Rome, making brief trips to Genoa and Venice and continuing to paint narrative paintings as well as female nudes, a subject shied away from by other female artists of the period. In 1630, Artemisia had moved to Naples where her style became less Caravaggesque and her themes turned to more conventional religious subjects. In 1638 Artemisia moved to London to care for her ailing father. From then on, her work was less frequent and poorly documented. Her last commission was in January of 1654.