|Judith Slaying Holofernes|
Artemisia Gentileschi, 1620
The story of Judith was a favorite of Artemisia Gentileschi who painted the subject twice. She was intrigued by the idea of a powerful woman. The first version, painted in Naples, is an excellent painting. However, her 1620 version, painted in Florence, is a superior work. Artemisia portrayed Judith in her trademark Artemisia gold—a symbol of strength. The strength of the women seems to reflect Artemisia’s personal fortitude.
This work is indicative of the power of Artemisia’s painting. Seeing this scene makes her historic induction as the first woman in the Academia seem very fitting indeed. Her talent knew no gender.