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Narrative history paintings

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Full-Text Articles in Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque Art and Architecture

Oh, Susanna: Exploring Artemisia’S Most Painted Heroine, Kerry Kilburn Feb 2016

Oh, Susanna: Exploring Artemisia’S Most Painted Heroine, Kerry Kilburn

Undergraduate Research Symposium

Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-1656?) was a rare female Baroque artist who successfully established herself in the field of narrative history paintings. Her work included several series of paintings representing variations on a single theme. Her “Susanna and the Elders” series is unique among these: it contains the largest number of paintings executed over the longest period of time with no repetition of image types. This series exemplifies Artemisia’s practice of portraying heroic female protagonists and her narrative originality. Her potential identification with the character of Susanna moreover has allowed Artemisia to create a series of rare insight and nuance.

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