Artemisia Gentileschi: New Understandings

Art Matters Lecture with Judith Mann

Judith Mann
Senior Curator of European Art to 1800, Saint Louis Art Museum

Over the last 75 years, Artemisia Gentileschi has developed into an icon of female empowerment and the emotive drama of baroque painting. Identified with images of Judith decapitating the general Holofernes, she has come to be understood as a woman who succeeded in a man’s world, overcoming considerable obstacles to do so. While not entirely inaccurate, such an understanding fails to address the reality of the artist’s life in 17th-century Italian society, and has caused her less dramatic paintings to remain misunderstood or overlooked. Dr. Mann will discuss seven of the artists’ paintings, including well-known titles such as Susanna and the Elders along with a series of works that have come to light within the last 20 years. Her talk will provide a richer and more nuanced version of the painter than has generally been offered in exhibitions and recent publications.

Generous support for Art Matters is provided by the SBMA Women’s Board.

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