Artemisia Gentileschi Self Portrait Lands At The National Gallery | Culture
It will be the first female portrait and the first self portrait to join The National Gallery‘s 17th Italian collection. It’s also a big deal because there are not so many works of female artists and Artemisia Gentileschi was a pioneer in her time.
Florence, mid 1600, is the Italian capital of Baroque art style and the young artist was the first woman to enter the Art Academy there. She specialized in painting pictures of strong and suffering women especially from myths, putting a lot of herself in her works.
Through her canvas, you can feel the inner struggles she fought, like dealing with sexual abuse from a father’s friend. The process against Agostino Tassi, a painter from Pisa and often at Gentileschi’s, was one of the big issues of her time in Tuscany.
Self-Portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria represents herself as the 4th century martyr, leant over a spiked wheel. It was acquired for £3.6 million by the The National Gallery and was really welcomed and desired to increase and complete the resident collection of women artists, still a minor part in the gallery.
After being part of a private French collection, the oil on canvas was bought last year by a Londoner art dealer and now it will be displayed on the walls of the prestigious gallery to get the worldwide admiration it deserves.
The National Gallery can already count on works by female artists in its collection and by next year this will be the 20th (it needs a few months of restoration before being displayed).