Painting by important 17th C. female artist Gentileschi headed to auction


Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-1653), Lucretia, estimate €500,000-€700,000. Image courtesy Dorotheum

VIENNA – An important painting by Artemisia Gentileschi, one of art history’s most celebrated female painters, is to be offered for sale at auction at Dorotheum this fall.

The painting, titled Lucretia, is an exceptional and rare work by the 17th century Italian baroque artist Artemisia Gentileschi. It will be one of the highlights of Dorotheum’s auction week, Oct. 23-25, 2018. The painting is estimated at €500,000 – €700,000 and has been consigned from an aristocratic collection where it has been since the mid-19th century.

Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-1653) often painted heroic women of Ancient and Christian mythology. The subject of this work is the Roman noblewoman Lucretia, a popular symbol of female defiance against tyranny.

As a young woman Gentileschi suffered sexual abuse and, most unusually for her time, she participated in the prosecution of her attacker. Dramatic images in many of her paintings, including Lucretia, reflect her own powerful experience of violence and its aftermath. Lucretia‘s appalling tragedy in the 6th century BC led to an popular uprising which was to culminate in the fall of the Roman monarchy and the subsequent foundation of the Republic of Rome.

Artemisia Gentileschi’s extraordinary life both as a woman and as an accomplished painter who was celebrated during her own lifetime is well documented, and she remains an intriguing subject of films and books to this day.

This painting, to be sold at Dorotheum in October, presents a rare opportunity to acquire a defining work by an increasingly relevant artist.

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