Artemisia as a Feminist

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Nanette Salomon, a very well known feminist writer, wrote the article, “Judging Artemisia: A Baroque Woman in Modern Art History.” The article opens up with a discussion about the 2001-2 exhibition of Orazio and Artemisia Gentileschi: Father and Daughter Painters in Baroque Italy. The author explains that three things are unusual here: the fact that two famous artists were presented at the same time, that they were related as father and daughter, and the fact that the woman was better known than the man. Her intent in this article is to look at the effects of this trope (figure of speech) in the past and in the present.

Salomon argues that this comparison technique has been the main feature or art historical analysis. It puts a
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The author also talks about the story of Susanna and the Elders. Apparently Artemisia Gentileschi painted three versions of this biblical story at three different stages in her life, 1610, 1622, and 1649. The author did a comparison on the three Susanna paintings and she argues that it is noticeable that the abstracting qualities of the 1610 painting change its concept or meaning from one form of story telling to another. She argues that the abstract form of story telling serves the purpose of finding a visual equivalent to the “deafening silence”. She explains that the 1622 Susanna and the Elders speaks a different language, and so does the 1649 version.

Nanette Salomon emphasizes that there are different ways to make sense of the changes in Artemisia’s three “Susannas”. One explanation may be that Artemisia’s work show progressive naturalism or realism which can be attributed to her development as an artist.

Judging Artemisia Gentileschi is a practice that is believed to have begun at the same time as aesthetic judgment, back in the time of Vasari in the late sixteenth century.

To me, those are the main points of the article by Nanette Salomon. I think that she made a very good historical and psychological approach on the subject. The strength of this article is that she provides a lot of historical facts, and blends it together with her words and opinion.
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