The art of the self-portrait

on Saturday, 08 December 2012. Posted in Blog

The art of the self-portrait



Artemesia Gentileschi (1593 – 1656) was an Italian Baroque painter. In this self-portrait, painted in the 1630’s, Artemesia has portrayed herself as the allegory of painting. It’s a painting full of female strength. Painted at a time when it was uncommon for a woman to have a profession.





Artemesia had seemingly managed to overcome much in the way of trauma in her life. She suffered the loss of her mother at a young age. While studying painting she was raped by one of her tutors. The rape resulted in charges being brought against the accused, Agostino Tassi, a thoroughly awful person. Artemesia was subjected to a trial by ordeal (torture) to ensure she was telling the truth. Tassi was convicted and spent one year in jail.

Artemesia went on to have a very successful career as an artist.