Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-1656) began to paint professionally in her father’s workshop when she was only 17, going on to become a very talented Italian Baroque painter. Unfortunately, as she was a woman it took time for her to be accepted into the artistic world. But her work was incredible! Over her life she was a patron of the famed Medici family, traveled around Europe, and focused her work on classical, Biblical, and mythological women.
Created from 1638 through 1639, Gentileschi’s Self-Portrait as the Allegory of Painting shows the artist herself working on a painting, examining the canvas carefully with brush poised. This is almost a statement piece from a time where women were rarely painters, showing that Gentileschi belonged in this world–and, indeed, that she herself could be an “allegory of painting”.