[content: discussion of rape and violence]
Artemisia Gentileschi is an amazing historical figure. A survivor who endured torture and humiliation when she tried to convict the man who raped her, she is famous for her beautifully rendered paintings of defiant women enacting violence upon men. Above are Judith Slaying Holofernes, Judith and Maidservant, and Jael and Sisera. It is rumored that Judith Beheading Holofernes is a self-portrait, in which Judith was painted in Gentileschi’s likeness and Holofernes was modeled after her rapist.
In fourth grade, Mrs. Pickering taught us about different painters throughout the year. None of the other fourth grade teachers did this, but she thought it was important. This is the only reason I am fairly good at being able to identify who a painting is by and what time period it’s from. Towards the end of the year, we took a class field trip to the Getty, and did reports on painters. Like a boss, I chose Artemisia because she is my mother’s favorite painter and also a giant badass. Of course, I conveniently left out the whole rape thing…