The 17th century Italian painter Artemisia Gentileschi names her price and sticks to it, in a letter to her patron. Incidentally slipping in some slurs on her Neapolitan counterparts.
Elsewhere she mentions having had her ideas stolen and questions whether the same would have happened to a man. She certainly lived in a man’s world and seems to have held her own.
Here are two self-portraits – sometimes she used herself as a model, perhaps to avoid the cost and headache of hiring models.
‘I must caution Your Most illustrious Lordship that when I ask a price, I don’t follow the custom in Naples, where they ask thirty and then give it for four. I am Roman, and therefore I shall act always in the Roman manner.’
Source: Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-c. 1653), letter to Don Antonio Ruffo, 13 November 1649, quoted in Janson’s History of Art, 5th edn (1995), p. 627
Photo credit: timcgundert at pixabay