In episode 48 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the highly esteemed National Gallery curator, Letizia Treves, on the REVOLUTIONARY Baroque artist, Artemisia Gentileschi !!!!
[This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!]
And WOW, it was on the eve of lockdown that Letizia (the show's curator) took me for a tour of "Artemisia" at the National Gallery, where we recorded this very special episode – so please come and join us!
An ICON of art history. A trailblazer. A revolutionary. And a great. Born on the cusp of the Baroque era in 1593, Artemisia Gentileschi is one of history's most famous artists, known for her STRIKING large-scale and monumental canvases of Biblical heroines, from Susanna, Judith to the Mary Magdalene.
The ultimate 17th century Baroque artist – whose exhibition marks the first EVER by a female artist on this scale at the National Gallery – never before has a show given such an incredibly well-rounded and triumphant stance to an artist. Not only do we hear from the artist herself through her many letters (to both her lovers and "illustrious patrons"), but we also hear from her through a 400 year-old transcript covering her rape trial. A document that asserts the young 17 year-old, who despite overcoming enormous amounts of personal and professional setbacks, asserts herself as a strong, courageous, dignified woman.
This exhibition of thirty DAZZLING works starts with Susanna and the Elders, made when Artemisia was still working in her father, Orazio's studio. We then move into Florence, where she moved in 1612 and became the star of the city – gaining patronage from the likes of the Medici Court.
Portraying Judith Beheading Holofernes as if she were butchering a piece of meat, Artemisia was never afraid to show THEATRICALITY in her Baroque works, infused with psychological drama.
One of the greatest exhibitions I have ever witnessed, please join us as we tour this monumental show!!
Susanna and the Elders, 1610
Judith Beheading Holofernes, 1612–13 + 1620–21
Judith and Her Maidservant, 1612–13
Self Portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria, 1616
Self Portrait as a Lute Player, 1616–18
Portrait of Artemisia Gentileschi by Simon Vouet
Mary Magdalene in Ecstasy, 1623
Judith and Her Maidservant, 1623
Susanna and the Elders, 1652
Self Portrait as the Allegory of Painting, 1638
Artemisia's rape trial:
Judith Beheading Holofernes:
Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel
Sound editing by Laura Hendry
Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner
Music by Ben Wetherfield