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Artemisia Gentileschi

Episode 4 of 4

A special access tour of the Artemisia Gentileschi blockbuster exhibition billed as Tarantino meets Caravaggio, a bloody tale of tragedy and triumph with a twist.

A chance to explore the National Gallery's critically acclaimed show that very nearly never happened due to Covid-19 restrictions. Artemisia Gentileschi’s blockbuster exhibition is billed as Tarantino meets Caravaggio, a bloody tale of tragedy and triumph with a twist.

Artemisia was a woman who painted her way to fame and glory in 17th-century Italy but was then forgotten for centuries. She was inspired as a child by the rebel artist, Caravaggio, and by the age of 17 could paint superbly, but her life was derailed by sexual assault. She survived and, some say, took her revenge in art by painting gory scenes of female heroism.

Artemisia Gentileschi is not simply a painter who deserves to be rediscovered for her defiance of an age that was unapologetically biased against women. She is a truly great artist whose achievement has been obscured by lazy sexism. In her lifetime, she was feted by grand dukes and kings, and a friend of Galileo. With her direct, shocking style, her paintings are raw muscular slices of life. She painted grand narratives from the Bible and the lives of the saints, and yet you always feel her own presence, her own feelings in her work.

This behind-the-scenes tour of her sold-out, five-star exhibition in London takes us to the heart of Gentileschi’s genius. It not only includes most of her great paintings but even the written documents that preserve her clear, courageous voice. Artemisia lived centuries ago in a society that had not heard of feminism, where her gender marked her out as an anomaly. Yet she reaches out to our time, and her incendiary art hits us with its truth.

29 minutes

Last on

Fri 16 Oct 2020 01:45

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Role Contributor
Presenter Letizia Treves
Presenter Katy Hessel
Writer Letizia Treves
Writer Katy Hessel
Director of photography Greg Taylor
Executive Producer Jacqui Edenbrow
Executive Producer William Fairman
Producer Roxy Rezvany
Director Roxy Rezvany
Production Company Guardian News & Media Limited


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