Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-1656) was an Italian Baroque painter, considered one of the best artists of his time. She was her father’s apprentice in Rome. In 1611, Agostino Tassi, the painter of her father, raped Artemisia, and then promised her marriage to ensure the continuation of their love. The promise was not kept, and nine months after the rape, Orazio Gentileschi (Artemisia’s father) filed a lawsuit against Tassi, who was sentenced to a year in prison after a seven-month trial.
Artemisia later married the painter Pierantonio Stiattesi and settled in Florence, where she had a steep career. She became the Medici’s beloved court painter and became the first woman to become a member of the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno (Academy of Fine Arts). However, still she had problems to face. Her marriage broke down, and in 1621 she returned to Rome.
In 1630, she settled in Naples and lived there until the end of her life, except for a period of stay in England when she again worked with her father, who became a court painter to Charles I in 1638. In 1639, Orazio died and Artemisia returned to Naples.
Almost all of Artemisia’s works feature female protagonists (preferably Biblical figures). They are characterized by courage, determination, and strong character, rather than by feminine traits of sensitivity and weakness. Above all, her work, Judith Slaying Holofernes, is a painting of bloody anguish and horror. She painted it in several variations, but that of the Uffizi is the most impressive. She was most likely inspired by memories of a recent rape.
Rauda Jamis wrote a fictional biography about her: Artemisia, ou, La renommée (Artemisia or The Famous, 1990).
The film Artemisia (1997) depicts the life of the artist.
“Self-Portrait as the Allegory of Painting” by Artemisia Gentileschi. 1638–39. (Photo: Wikipedia, Public domain)
Because of his origins, Marc Chagall intensely felt the problems of the Jewish community in Europe at the beginning of the 20th century, just as he intuitively experienced the problems that Russia, his native country, was going through with the First World War and the October Revolution.
Driven by fascination as well as by contempt, Stéphane Mandelbaum (1961–1986) produced hundreds of portraits within a short creative period of just ten years. The subjects include Arthur Rimbaud, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Francis Bacon, Pierre Goldman, his grandfather Szulim, and his father Arié Mandelbaum, but also National Socialist criminals such as Joseph Goebbels and Ernst Röhm.
Cultural exchange and cooperation are important parts of the comprehensive Sino-European strategic partnership. They play an irreplaceable role in enhancing mutual understanding between people and promoting the value of our relations. At the 14th Sino-European Summit in 2011, the leaders stressed that cultural exchange is one of the three pillars of Sino-European relations.
Chagall is one of the most famous artists in France in the 20th century. His work has characteristics of surrealism and neo-primitivism.
Chagall was born on 7 July 1887 in Russia, in a Jewish family. He was brought up in the peace and tenderness of his mother, who taught him to read and to love the Bible and people. Vitebsk remained in Chagall’s imagination as the naive paradise of childhood, and the painter represented it in many paintings, in his youth and also later.