Feminine Myths: Artemisia Gentileschi at the National Gallery

Feminine Myths: Artemisia Gentileschi at the National Gallery
#Exhibitions

Transforming a decapitation into a thing of beauty is no easy task, yet Artemisia Gentileschi carried it off. After several postponements, her raw and sublime canvases come to the National Gallery in the most highly-awaited event of the year. Approximately thirty works are coming together from prestigious European and American collections, to create the first monographic exhibition of the artist in the United Kingdom - from Self-Portrait as a Lute Player to Judith Slaying Holofernes, as well as a precious pair of altar pieces - The Annunciation and San Gennaro at the Amphitheatre of Pozzuoli - while a special focus will be dedicated to Susanna and the Elders, subject of the first painting signed by the artist at only seventeen, as well as her last work, more than forty years later. There’s also a piece from the collection of the museum itself Self-Portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria, purchased in 2018 for 3.6 million sterling. “You’ll find the spirit of Cesar in the soul of a woman,” wrote the artist to Cardinal Antonio Ruffo, and perhaps it’s no coincidence that her work stands as a superb gallery of female figures. Behind the mythological icons and those of the Holy Scriptures, there is Artemisia in flesh and blood - the first woman at the Academy of Florence, an artist of immense courage and value, capable of standing her own in the solely masculine competitive world of painting in the Italy of the 1600s.
Francesca Grego - © 2020 ARTE.it for Bulgari Hotel London