Artemisia Gentileschi

Esther Before Ahasuerus

  • Artemisia Gentileschi (Italian, 1593c.1653)
     Oil on Canvas, 208.3 x 273.7 cm
  • 16281635
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art; Gift of Elinor Dorrance Ingersoll, 1969 Accession Number: 69.281

Artemisia Gentileschi was the first woman member of the Accademia di Arte del Disegno in Florence. She had an international clientele, including members of the Medici house, and Charles I of England. Early in her career, she survived not only the trauma of abuse at the hands of a teacher, but also the trauma of the subsequent public trial. She, like her painter father Orazio Gentileschi, was a follower of Caravaggio. Trained in Rome, she also lived and worked in Florence and Naples; and she spent some time in London. She specialized in painting pictures of strong and suffering women from myths, allegories, and the Bible.

Learn more about Gentileschi’s painting, Esther Before Ahasuerus: The Met

Upcoming Exhibitions featuring Artemisia Gentileschi:

London’s National Gallery plans the UK’s first-ever solo exhibition of Artemisia Gentileschi’s works. The show brings together some 35 works from public and private collections around the world. ‘Artemisia’ features some of her best-known paintings and self portraits, as well as more recently discovered works, and gives visitors a unique chance to encounter Artemisia. The exhibition opens on April 4, and will run until July 26, 2020. Exhibition

The Detroit Institute of Arts, in collaboration with the Wadsworth Athenaeum, will present ‘Artemisia Gentileschi and Women Artists in Italy.’ The show capitalizes on the strong presence of Italian Renaissance and Baroque women artists in American and European collections. The organizers’ intent is to introduce to the public a ‘diverse and dynamic’ group of female Old Masters, including not only Gentileschi but also court artist Sofonisba Anguissola, printer and painter Elisabetta Sirani, and other talented, but now virtually unknown, women artists. Dates are still tentative, but the exhibition is likely to open in February 2021. Exhibition



Books about Artemisia Gentileschi


Artemisia Gentileschi in a Changing Light, edited by Sheila Barker (Brepols, 2017)

Artemisia Gentileschi: The Language of Painting, by Jesse Locker (Yale University Press, 2015)

Orazio and Artemisia Gentileschi, edited by Keith Christiansen and Judith W. Mann (The Metropolitan Museum, 2013)

The Artemisia Files: Artemisia Gentileschi for Feminists and Other Thinking People, edited by Mieke Bal (University of Chicago Press, 2005)

Artemisia Gentileschi around 1622: The Shaping and Reshaping of an Artistic Identity, by Mary Garrard (University of California Press, 2001)

Artemisia Gentileschi and the Authority of Art: Critical Reading and Catalogue Raisonné, by R. Ward Bissell (Penn State Press, 1999)

Artemisia Gentileschi: The Image of the Female Hero in Italian Baroque Art, by Mary Garrard (Princeton University Press, 1991)



Blood Water Paint, by Joy McCullough (Penguin Random House, 2018)

Artemisia, by Anna Banti (Bison Books, 2003)

The Passion of Artemisia, by Susan Vreeland (Headline Book Publishing, 2002)

Learn more online about Artemisia Gentileschi at:

Sotheby’s: Explore >

National Gallery, London: Explore >

The Art Story: Explore > Explore >

The History Chicks: Explore >

Art Herstory blog page: Explore >



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