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216 × 138 mm
320 pages
69 illustrations, 65 in colour
16 Mar 2020
Renaissance Lives
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Artemisia Gentileschi and Feminism in Early Modern Europe Mary D. Garrard

Artemisia Gentileschi is by far the most famous woman artist of the pre-modern era. Her art addresses issues that resonate today, such as sexual violence and women’s problematic relationship to political power. Her powerful paintings with their vigorous female protagonists chime with modern audiences, and she is celebrated by feminist critics and scholars.

This book breaks new ground by placing Gentileschi in the context of women’s political history. Mary D. Garrard shows that Gentileschi most likely knew or knew about contemporary writers such as the Venetian feminists Lucrezia Marinella and Arcangela Tarabotti. She discusses recently discovered paintings, offers fresh perspectives on known works and examines the artist anew in the context of feminist history.

This beautifully illustrated book gives a full portrait of a strong woman artist who fought back through her art.

‘Mary Garrard’s return to the great Artemisia Gentileschi is uniquely rich in knowledge and reflection. It is not only an authoritative study of the historical Artemisia and the ways – whether openly brutal, subtly injurious or beneficial – in which her art and life were affected by her sex. It also places her in the “transhistorical community of women” that Garrard brings to life. The book is moreover a heartfelt appeal to writers and readers of art history to account for their own attitudes and experiences. And with all that, it is a pleasure to read.’ — Gary Schwartz, art historian

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Mary D. Garrard is Professor Emerita of Art History at American University, Washington, DC. Her books include Artemisia Gentileschi: The Image of the Female Hero in Italian Baroque Art (1989) and Brunelleschi’s Egg: Gender, Art and Nature in Renaissance Italy (2010).

1 Artemisia and the Writers: Feminism in Early Modern Europe
2 Sexuality and Sexual Violation: Susanna and Lucretia
3 The Fictive Self: Musicians and Magdalenes
4 Women and Political Power: Judith
5 Battles of the Sexes: Women on Top
6 The Divided Self: Allegorical and Real
7 Matriarchal Succession: The Greenwich Ceiling
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Photo Acknowledgements