Life and Art of Artemisia Gentileschi > Minerva > Next Painting


c. 1615

Oil on canvas

1.31m by 1.03m

Soprintendenza alle Gallerie, Florence.

The Painting.

From her early Florentine period, although Bissell dates this much later at 1635-6, this allegorical portrait may depict Anne of Austria as Minerva. While superficially and atypically classical in pose and costume, the work bears a naturalism in the subject's plain, unidealised features. Note the gorgon's head on the chair, reminiscent of Caravaggio's painting of Medusa in the Uffizi Gallery.

The Artist's Life.

At this stage, Artemisia was becoming established and earning professional regard in Florence. It is likely that this painting was commissioned by Marie de' Medici.

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