Artemisia Gentileschi: Susanna And The Elders

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The earliest painting of Artemisia Gentileschi is that of Susanna and the Elders. It was a problematic picture because of the attribution and dating connected with it. Although there is a prominent inscription on the painting, scholars still do not have answers to their questions about whether the work should be attributed to Artemisia or her father Orazio, who was first proposed to be the artist by several people. This is because the date attributed to the painting, 1610 (which has since been confirmed to be the correct date written), would have meant that Artemisia was 17 years old during that year. This means that Artemisia’s skill in painting was very advanced. This is interesting because, according to her father, she had only been painting…show more content…
But there is a problem because her father, Orazio, also borrowed from the Orestes sarcophagus for his figure of David in David and Goliath. This picture was created at a very close date with his daughter’s Susanna. There is a possibility that Artemisia was borrowing from her own father’s work, rather than turning to the sarcophagus on her own. However, Orestes’ pose is what interested Orazio, and the nurse’s pose is what interested Artemisia. He may have shown her the sarcophagus, but it was most likely her decision to take the nurse’s pose. Also, the Susanna painting, attributed to Artemisia, conveys an entirely different feeling than that of David and Goliath. Susanna’s pose and expression seem very naturalistic and are depicted with realism instead of a specific standard of beauty at the time. Certain features such as crow’s feet and wrinkles testify to this and lend credence to the notion that the figure of Susanna was studied meticulously from life. Her father’s depictions of female figures differ a great deal because they follow idealized standards of beauty. He also depicted women as off to the side, waiting and watching quietly. Artemisia’s women are shown reacting to specific dangers in her

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