For #IWD2018 – Artemisia Does Snark

For International Women’s Day I want to feature one of my favorite women from history, the hugely talented 17th Century painter, Artemisia Gentileschi. This picture (currently owned by the Queen) is probably a self-portrait. Much more importantly than that, however, it is a response to this picture by another Italian, Cesare Ripa.

That is from Ripa’s famous work, Iconologia, and it is intended to represent an allegory of “painting”. The woman in Gentileschi’s picture is a physical embodiment of that allegory, sharing many of the iconographic elements. But there is one symbol that she has chosen to omit. I think you can probably spot it.

Well played, Artemsia, well played.