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Lucretia

Painting, 1621, 54×51 cm

Description of the artwork «Lucretia»

Lucretia the legendary Roman heroine with paintings of Artemisia Gentileschi, one hand holds a breast and the other grips the dagger, ready to inflict a mortal wound...

In the twentieth century, the work of Artemisia Gentileschi has opened for a broad public, Roberto Longhi, a brilliant Italian art historian, writer, screenwriter. He thought she was "the only woman in Italy who knew anything about painting" the only major artist of the Baroque era. And although it is long, it is customary to argue by mentioning that at about this same time worked in the wizard as Sofonisba Of Anguissolaand Lavinia Fontana his remarks on the works of Artemisia has not lost value. Longhi said that because 57 famous paintings Gentileschi at least 49 women are portrayed, similar or even equal to men. Among such heroes Judith, Cleopatra and, of course, Lucrezia (see another picture Of Artemisia Gentileschi with this heroine).

From the history of antiquities of Livy we know that the Lucretia was a married Roman woman, beautiful and virtuous. She was captivated by the king's son Sextus Tarquinius. He was rejected by Lucretius, but used the weapon and raped her. Just look at the pictures Titianor Rubens called "Tarquinius and Lucretia" to represent, as the Renaissance saw this dramatic event.

Lucretia was unable to accept her dishonor. She confessed to her husband in everything that happened, and in his eyes stabbed herself, preferring death to shame. Her act had political consequences. Outraged Roman citizens rebelled, the excitement quickly turned into an uprising, the tsarist government was overthrown. So, thanks to the courage of Lucretia, Rome became a Republic.

Of course, of Artemisia Gentileschi, the circumstances of her own life, the story of Lucretia had deeply personal meaning. Rape and dishonor in the same way predetermined the future destiny of Artemisa, as the dishonor of Lucretia – share Rome (to learn about the life of the artist more details after reading her biography).

Interestingly, Gentileschi did not want, like the authors-men to portray the very scene of the rape. She also writes directly to the point of committing suicide. Artemisia focuses on the short period between these events. She is credited with the words: "I'm not going to write as Lucretia killed herself. I draw on the picture as she made a decision".

The exact time of the writing of "Lucretia" is not known. It is likely that this is the beginning of 1620 years, of the early Florentine period, when Artemisia was still under the strong influence of the contrast black and white manners Caravaggio.

Lucretius, like many other of her characters, apparently, were written by Artemisia Gentileschi with yourself. The woman in those days it was almost impossible to have a Studio practice and to write Nude models, because Artemesia to be the most accurate in the transmission of the anatomy, often working in front of a mirror. The conjecture that the model for writing the body of Lucretia was herself Artemesia, confirmed by the fact that a self-portrait of the artist 1638-1639 years made in almost a similar and rare perspective: in both cases the heroine is written on the side and with a strong inclination towards the viewer.

Author: Anna Yesterday
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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Portrait, Historical scene

Style of art: Baroque

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1621

Size: 54×51 cm

Artwork in selections: 7 selections