Artemisia Gentileschi was the daughter of Orazio Gentilesch, a baroque painter from Rome. She became the first female member of the Academy of Design in Florence.
I choose this painting because it seems like so much of the art, no matter what century, portrayed naked women....all the time! I don't understand why the men are not painted naked half as much as the women. Or maybe they are and I'm just ill in formed.
But the story behind this piece of art is a bit saddening. Artemisia was denied entry into an all male art academic school so her father hired a tutor for her. But she was raped, tortured, publicly humiliated and sent to jail for one year. Susanna and the Elders is about a Biblical story of a women who was sexually harassed by the village elders.
She also painted Judith beheading Holofernes which many say was her sort of revenge. she is best known for mastering light and dark. Now that i understand the story behind Susanna and the Elders I can appreciate her artwork more.