Object of Study

#MeToo With The Early Moderns

Hum 212 studies the art of Artemisia Gentileschi, who took on the patriarchy in the 17th century.

By Prof. Dana E. Katz [Art 2005–] | June 1, 2020

The Baroque artist Artemisia Gentileschi (seen here in Self-Portrait as the Allegory of Painting, which students in Hum 212 will examine this spring) acquired fame in her own time, and in ours. Trained in Rome by her father, Orazio Gentileschi, Artemisia excelled at dramatic narrative painting, particularly depictions of women heroines and female nudes. Painter to sacred and secular leaders, Artemisia would become the first woman admitted to Florence’s famed Accademia del Disegno, thus gaining her access to the art institutions traditionally forbidden to women. Recently, Artemisia’s biography and her powerful heroines have found deep resonance with the #MeToo movement. In 1611, Agostino Tassi, a painter in Orazio’s circle, raped Artemisia. Orazio brought charges against Tassi, who was found guilty. As many #MeToo bloggers have remarked, Artemisia is an exceptional woman for her era in that she survived not only the violence of sexual assault but also the gender discrimination of the early modern patriarchy.

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