Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Blood, Passion and Captivity: Gentileschi’s Life Is in Her Paintings

By Eleanor Nairne
Gentileschi’s “Judith Beheading Holofernes,” from about 1613, is an example of the fashion at the time for depictions of strong biblical women. Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte, Napoli
LONDON — The National Gallery opted for a one-word title for its new blockbuster show: “Artemisia.” The name of the exhibition, which opened on Saturday and runs through Jan. 24, 2021, has a pop star ring, befitting the most celebrated female artist of the 17th century. In her lifetime, Artemisia Gentileschi was lauded by the artist Jérôme David as “a miracle in painting, more easily envied than imitated”; today, she is the subject of feverish new scholarship, not to mention films, plays, novels and even a cameo in a 2017 children’s book, “Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls.” But why does first-name familiarity seem to be so often applied to women artists and not men? Kahlo is endlessly referred to as Frida, but only Kanye West takes the liberty of calling Picasso just Pablo. [More