Soyez le premier à aimer ceci
My inspiration for pursuit of this independent study came in part from an experience earlier on in my scholastic career. During the course of seventh and eighth grade, I had the opportunity to take an art history class. In this class, we studied everything from Hellenistic art expressions to the wild Fauvism of the early 20th century. As the class moved along the historical timeline of art, I was struck by the story of this one artist, who was, as pronounced by the teacher, “just a wonderful artist whose work lends so incredibly to Caravaggio’s intense chiaroscuro technique” (this we had learned a bit earlier in the class). The artist was Artemisia Gentileschi, an Italian who painted during the Baroque period and surprised many of her contemporaries with the depth of her work. She was one of few female painters to be commissioned for work on a comparable scale to that of her male counterparts during the late Italian Renaissance. Gentileschi’s subject matter broaches issues concerning femininity and lends incredible insight to a woman’s artistic expression.
There was something I had missed in Artemisia’s profundity at that time, that resurfaced in my very first semester at Lewis & Clark College. Professor Nicolas Smith’s Exploration & Discovery course sought to examine the question of ‘How to lead the Good Life?’ This broad and seemingly vague directive ended up giving me great clarity about what the ‘Good Life’ seems to involve and how one would go about striving for it. This kind of revelation can be likened to Artemisia Gentileschi in her search for greater self-understanding as a human person.
My interests in earlier Humanist ideals and Italian Renaissance makes for an integral analysis into the work and artistic discourse propounded by Artemisia Gentileschi during the 17th century.