Artemisia Gentileschi

Esther Before Ahasuerus

  • Artemisia Gentileschi (Italian, 1593 – c.1653)
     Oil on Canvas, 208.3 x 273.7 cm
  • 1628 – 1635
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art; Gift of Elinor Dorrance Ingersoll, 1969 Accession Number: 69.281

The Artist

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. 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

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 >



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