Artemisia Gentileschi, Self-Portrait as the Allegory of Painting, 1638-9, Oil on Canvas, The Royal Collection
Meet our namesake and muse, Artemisia Gentileschi. Recognized as one of the most masterful Italian painters of the Baroque period, she is also one of the first female artists of art historical distinction. She was first taught by her father Orazio Gentileschi, a follower of Caravaggio, and was later formally educated at the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno in Florence, as remarkably, the first woman to be accepted to join the Accademia. Like her father, she painted in the style of Caravaggio, characterized by theatrical and dramatic depictions of the human form illuminated by bright bursts of light and inky-dark contrasts, called chiaroscuro, meaning light-dark in Italian.
Artemisia Gentileschi, Judith and Her Maidservant with the Head of Holofernes, 1625, Oil on Canvas, Detroit Institute of Arts
Her legacy lies the depiction of strong, powerfully expressive women, not only in their physical form but through their actions of unwavering conviction within the paintings. Her figures are realistic in nature, rather than idealized, unlike the norm amongst painters at this time. True to her biography, the women of Artemisia's paintings resonate as powerful forces of nature, courageous, capable and rebellious, and always seemingly in solidarity with each other. Of the 57 works by Artemisia Gentileschi that we know today, 49 works feature women as protagonists or as equal to men. Over three centuries later, she still remains a pioneer and visionary to the creative power of women.
Esther Before Ahasuerus, Oil on Canvas, 1630, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
So, why did we call our company Artemisia? As a woman owned and operated company, we feel that uttering her name daily is a tribute to her spirit and conviction. It is a constant reminder to forge a distinct path full of nothing less than creative abundance and perseverance, and to view every nuance of life with aesthetic curiosity, whether a masterful painting or a finely woven textile.
Welcome to Artemisia Inc, and many thanks for your support.