Life and Art of Artemisia Gentileschi > Lucretia > Next Painting

Lucretia.

c. 1621

Oil on canvas.

54" by 51"

Palazzo Cattaneo-Adorno, Genoa.

The Painting.

Mary D. Garrard dates this as one of Artemisia's first Genovese paintings. Bissell, however, dates it much earlier in her career at 1611. Side panels which were added by another artist later and which are visible in this picture, were removed in 1995.

This is one of several Lucretias that Artemisia painted. A respected Roman matron raped by the arrogant king Tarquin Superbus, Lucretia is about to kill herself to spare her family dishonour. However, she appears to struggle for courage to complete the act.

The Artist's Life.

Artemisia's Lucretia paintings suggest that she experienced protracted emotional pain from rape and public humiliation in her teens. On repeated occasions, she painted women who chose not to be pawns of powerful males.




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