Home | Intro to the Text | Intro to Project | Your Judith | 3 Faces: Judith | Artisans & Images | Dinah's Defense? | Sources | Site Map | Interactive

The Quintessential Judith of Artemisia Gentileschi
Biblical Heritage: The Culture of Judith

Self-Portrait as the Allegory of Painting [Detail]


Artemisia produced many paintings on the subject of Judith and Holofernes. These paintings demonstrate her impressive artistic skill. Although most crtitics cite her rape as the reason for her choice to portray Judith with such frequency and passion, Judith was a popular subject of the time, and we cannot know in retrospect what Artemisia's reasons for choosing Judith were. Whatever her reason, the intensity of her work can certainly stand alone, and I believe that her rape should not be used to "explain away" her talent.
Read the following pages to learn more about Artemisia's life and paintings and draw your own conclusions.
~ Article from The New Yorker about Artemisia and her father, Orazio
~ Criticism about the 1998 film, "Artemisia"