All eyes on Artemisia: BBC Documentary with Michael Palin + conference in Florence

Judith Beheading Holofernes by Artemisia Gentileschi
Judith Beheading Holofernes by Artemisia Gentileschi

We at ArtViva have been all about Artemisia Gentileschi of late.

ArtViva has been working with the BBC on their production of a documentary featuring Michael Palin.

We are also proudly sponsoring a conference and its filming on this acclaimed Italian Baroque painter, as a gift from ArtViva to support world-class research on Artemisia Gentileschi.

Whilst you’ll have to stay tuned to the BBC to see the interesting documentary, we can share details of the conference in Florence.

On 6-7 May 2015 in Florence, Italy, the 3rd Annual Jane Fortune Conference will be held, titled “Artemisia Gentileschi: Interpreting New Evidence, Assessing New Attributions”.

Organised by the Medici Archive Project, the event will be hosted by the British Institute in Florence and Galleria Palatina at Palazzo Pitti.

Born in 1593, Artemisia Gentileschi was somewhat of a trailblazer, being the first females to be accepted into the Accademia di Arte del Disegno. It was in the Rome studio of her artist father, Orazio Gentileschi, that she learnt the skills of her artist trade before going on to live in Florence, Venice, Rome and Naples, where she ultimately retired and likely passed away in 1656.

Artemisia Gentileschi often featured women protagonists in her work. Occasionally they were depicted as heroes, occasionally villains or victims. Artemisia herself was said to have variously played some of these roles, having been raped before taking the then-uncommon step of naming her attacker publically and seeing him prosecuted. She then went on to become one of the greatest artists of all time.

Artworks by Artemisia Gentileschi can be found in various locations around Italy. In Florence, her works are in the Uffizi Gallery and Pitti Palace, in Rome at the Spada Gallery and in Naples in the Capodimonte Museum, to name but a few.

Her most famous artwork is “Judith Slaying Holofernes”, in which Holoferns meets his gruesome end being decapitated in a rather ghastly manner.

In light of new archival evidence about Artemisia Gentileschi that has recently come to light, there has been a great resurgence of interest in this intriguing Italian female artist.

The Artemisia Gentileschi conference in Florence will also focus on new works that have recently been attributed to her.

Attendance is free of charge, however there are limited places so it is recommended to reserve in advance. To do so, please contact Sofia Novello at the British Institute: snovello[at]britishinstitute[dot]it.


The Artemisia Gentileschi conference in Florence programme:

Wednesday, 6 May, 5:00-7:30pm

Location: Sala Bianca, Galleria Palatina, Palazzo Pitti

Inaugural remarks by Matteo Ceriana, Anna Bisceglia, Alessio Assonitis, and Jane Fortune.

Keynote Address by Mary D. Garrard, Professor Emerita, American University, Washington, DC – “Identifying Artemisia: The Archive and the Eye”


Thursday, 7 May, 9:00 am – 6:30 pm

Location: Sala Wanda Ferragamo in the Harold Acton Library, the British Institute

Opening remarks by Mark Roberts and Sheila Barker

Patricia Simons – “Artemisia’s Susanna and the Elders in Counter-Reformation Rome”

Julia Vicioso – “Artemisia Gentileschi and Costanza Francini in Rome”

Jesse Locker – “Reinventing Artemisia. The Formation of an Artist”

Laura Agoston – “Allegories of Inclination and Imitation at the Casa Buonarroti”

Sheila Barker – “All Investment at Risk. Artemisia’s Entrepreneurship in Florence”

Francesco Solinas – “Basta! Artemisia, Painter and Courtesan”

Consuelo Lollobrigida – “Women Artists in Casa Barberini: Virginia, Artemisia, Plautilla and Anna Maria”

Gianni Papi – “Artemisia: The Rediscovery of the Magdalene in Prayer, and New Reflections on a Vexed Problem of Attribution”

Christina Currie – “Mary Magdalen in Ecstasy: a Rediscovered Painting by Artemisia Gentileschi”

Riccardo Lattuada – “Unknown Paintings by Artemisia in Naples, and New Points Regarding Her Daily Life and Bottega”

Judith Mann – “Three Additions to Artemisia’s Oeuvre and How They Re-shape Our Understanding of Three Phases of Her Career”

Valerie Drummond – “Artemisia’s Missing British Portraits: A Case Study”

Eve Straussman-Pflanzer – “Artemisia’s Art Market: A Gendered Examination of Early Modern Value”

Roundtable Discussion. Moderator: Sheila ffolliott

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