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Artemisia Gentileschi around 1622

The Shaping and Reshaping of an Artistic Identity

Mary D. Garrard (Author)

Available worldwide

Paperback, 201 pages
ISBN: 9780520228412
February 2001
$36.95, £25.95
Mary D. Garrard, author of the acclaimed Artemisia Gentileschi, furthers her study of the seventeenth-century artist in this groundbreaking investigation of two little-known paintings. Taking as case studies the Seville Mary Magdalene and the Burghley House Susanna and the Elders, paintings of circa 1621-22 attributed to Artemisia, Garrard examines the ways that identity, gender, and market pressures interact both in the artist's work and in the criticism and connoisseurship that have surrounded it.
List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Preface
Introduction: Connoisseurship in a New Key
Gender and the Social Construction of Artistic Identity
Gender and the Personal Formation of Artistic Identity

PART ONE: A New Magdalen
A Tale of Two Pictures
Artemisia and Mary Magdalene
The Example of Caravaggio
The Example of Michelangelo
Artemisia as the Allegory of Painting
The Magdalen as Melancholy
The Reappropriation of Gendered Melancholy

PART TWO: The Burghley House Susanna
A Problem Picture
Susanna in the Garden of Love
Susanna as Social Scapegoat
The Picture: Technical Analysis and Documentation
Collaboration or Unauthorized Alteration?
Artemisia and Susanna, Public and Audience

Conclusion: The Shaping of a Complex Identity
Notes
Works Cited
Index
Mary D. Garrard is Professor of Art at American University. She is the author of Artemisia Gentileschi: The Image of the Female Hero in Italian Baroque Art (1989) and coeditor, with Norma Broude, of Feminism and Art History: Questioning the Litany (1982); The Expanding Discourse: Feminism and Art History (1992); and The Power of Feminist Art: The American Movement of the 1970s, History and Impact (1994).
"In this admirable work, at once passionately argued and lucidly written, Professor Garrard effectively considers the social, psychological, and formal complexity of the shaping and reshaping not only of the artist's feminine and feminist identity in the misogynistic society of the seventeenth century, but also of that identity in the discipline of art history today."—Steven Z. Levine, author of Monet, Narcissus, and Self-Reflection

"Mary Garrard's detailed investigation into attribution problems in two Artemisia Gentileschi paintings brilliantly interweaves connoisseurship, constructions of gender and artistic identity, and historical analysis. The result is a richer and more nuanced vision of the best-known female artist in western history before the modern era, and an important contribution to feminist studies." —Whitney Chadwick, author of Women, Art, and Society

"In her new book, Garrard has taken two bold steps that challenge much received opinion in the 'discipline' of art history. Analyzing two of Gentileschi's least violent but most moving images, Garrard argues that the painter's personality is discernible no less in the subjects and their interpretation than in the 'style' of the works; consideration of both aspects is essential to understanding the meaning of these extraordinary pictures and her authorship. Perhaps even more important, Garrard makes crystal clear that Artemisia Gentileschi, far from a 'good woman painter,' was one of the major visual thinkers of her time."—Irving Lavin, co-author with Marilyn Aronberg Lavin, of La Liturgia d'Amore: Immagini dal Canto dei Cantici nell'arte di Cimabue, Michelangelo, e Rembrandt (Modena, 2000)

"Developing her earlier methodologies and revising some conclusions, Garrard clarifies her distinct theoretical approach and voice among feminist critiques of art history. In this text, which reads in part like a forensic mystery, Garrard builds not only an argument for attributions of particular works, but a new understanding of Gentileschi herself at a particular moment in history."—Hilary Robinson, editor of Visibly Female: Feminism and Art Today

"One of our most distinguished feminist art historians brings contemporary gender studies to bear on traditional paintings connoisseurship to show how attributions to female artists have often been governed by tacit cultural assumptions about the limitations of women. Her case makes compelling reading for anyone interested in early modern society, culture, women and art in Italy, and in the problematics of feminism and art history."—Kathleen Weil-Garris Brandt, author of Leonardo e la Scultura

"By revealing a great woman painter's ways of expressing uniqueness while negotiating expectations, Mary Garrard helps each of us with the subtleties of remaining authentic while living in the world. Artemisia Gentileschi around 1622 is art history to live by."—Gloria Steinem

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