Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Gentileschi, Artemisia

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GENTILESCHI, ARTEMISIA (1590–1642?), painter, born at Rome in 1590, was daughter of Orazio Gentileschi [q. v.], from whom she received her first instructions in painting. She also worked under Guido Reni, and studied the style of Domenichino. She accompanied her father to England, and painted several pictures for Charles I, including ‘David and Goliath,’ ‘Fame,’ and a portrait of herself at an easel, which is now at Hampton Court. She quitted England, however, and returned to Italy before 1630, residing principally at Naples. She was renowned for her beauty and accomplishments as well as for her paintings. Scandal has been busy with her name; Lanière is said to have fallen a victim to her attractions in England, like the painter Romanelli of Viterbo at Naples, who painted her portrait. She was especially famous for her portraits, but produced other remarkable works, including a ‘Judith’ and a ‘Magdalen’ in the Pitti Gallery at Florence; the former, by some considered her finest work, displays a temperament hardly feminine. She also painted a nude figure of ‘Inclination’ for Michelangelo Buonarroti the younger, which was considered so indecorous by his descendants that they employed a painter to fit it with suitable drapery. She married Piero Antonio Schiattesi, and is said to have died in Naples in 1642.

[Authorities under Gentileschi, Orazio, also Bottari e Ticozzi's Lettere Pittoriche, vol. i.; Bardi's Galleria Pitti.]

L. C.