Artemisia Gentileschi is not only one of the most celebrated female painters of the Baroque era – but one of the greatest painters of said era regardless of gender. The daughter of the renowned Gentileschi family, raped during her formative years, she is known for her depiction of female empowerment in the paintings she produced during her time in Florence, Rome and Naples. Clio, the Muse of History from 1632 was made during this latter period.
This allegorical depiction of the muse of history of Greek mythology is also a portrait of strong femininity. I experienced this painting at the Palazzo Blu in Pisa, where it is regularly seen as part of the permanent collection but could also be admired beside a portrait of her made by prominent French-born painter Simon Vouet – whom I also talked about in my previous work on the Noli Me Tangere by Valentin De Boulogne.
Matt’s Wuthering Art is a series where I talk about individual painters and works of art, based on the artworks I encounter during my extensive travels.