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

Image credits: Image source: self-portrait as martyr and self-portrait as lute player, both by Artemisia Gentileschi

Image source: Artemisia Gentileschi self-portrait as martyr -
Image source: Artemisia Gentileschi - self-portrait autoritratto as lute player -


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