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Artemisia Gentileschi

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Artemisia Gentileschi
(1593-1653)
Considered one of the most important artists of the Baroque movement in Early Modern Europe, Artemisia Gentileschi, had to prove herself and break down the boundaries for a woman in a male dominated field. Artemisia was born in Rome on July 8, 1953 to Orazio and Prudentia Monotone Gentileschi, who died when the artist was only twelve years of age. Her upbringing was left to her father, who was also a well-known painter. He trained her since she was not permitted to learn in the studios of successful artists of the moment. Orazio introduced his daughter to the working artists of Rome including Caravaggio, whose tenebrism technique and chiaroscuro style had a great influence on her paintings. Unfortunately, other than artistic training, Artemisia, had hardly any other schooling and did not learn to read or write until she was an adult.
Agostino Tassi was a Florentine artist with whom Orazio had a working relationship, however, this acquaintance proved to have dire consequences for his daughter. In 1612, at the age of nineteen, Artemisia, accused Tassi of rape. Orazio, upon learning of this horrible crime committed against his daughter filed an injury and damage lawsuit against Tassi, which is clearly documented in the transcripts of the seven-month long trial. According to Artemisia, Tassi aided by family friends repeatedly tried to be alone with her until he was successful in cornering her in her own bedroom where the rape took place. Tassi, in an attempt to calm Artemisia down after the rape, promised to marry her, which led her to accept his ongoing advances both on a personal and intimate level but the actual marriage never took place because Tassi was never true to his word and avoided following through with the nuptials. During the trial Artemisia was accused of not being a virgin when the rape took place and also of…...

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