Artemisia Lomi or Artemisia Gentileschi (US: /ˌdʒɛntiˈlɛski/, Italian: [arteˈmiːzja dʒentiˈleski]; July 8, 1593 – c. 1656) was an Italian Baroque painter, now considered one of the most accomplished seventeenth-century artists, initially working in the style of Caravaggio. She was producing professional work by the age of fifteen. In an era when women had few opportunities to pursue artistic training or work as professional artists, Artemisia was the first woman to become a member of the Accademia di Arte del Disegno in Florence and she had an international clientele.
Many of Artemisia's paintings feature women from myths, allegories, and the Bible, including victims, suicides, and warriors. Some of her best known subjects are Susanna and the Elders (particularly the 1610 version in Pommersfelden), Judith Slaying Holofernes (her 1614–1620 version is in the Uffizi gallery), and Judith and Her Maidservant (her version of 1625 is in the Detroit Institute of Arts).
Judith and her Maidservant, 1625, Detroit Institute of Arts
Artemisia was known for being able to depict the female figure with great naturalism, and for her skill in handling color to express dimension and drama.
Her achievements as an artist were long overshadowed by the story of her rape by Agostino Tassi when she was a young woman and her participation in the trial of her rapist. For many years Artemisia was regarded as a curiosity, but her life and art have been reexamined by scholars in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and she is now regarded as one of the most progressive and expressive painters of her generation. Now she is being given recognition for her talents alone and major exhibitions at internationally esteemed fine art institutions, such as the National Gallery in London.