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By Her Hand: Artemisia Gentileschi and Women Artists in Italy, 1500–1800

February 6 – May 29, 2022

Updated Feb 6, 2022

By Her Hand: Artemisia Gentileschi and Women Artists in Italy, 1500–1800 explores the untold role of women artists. In a male-dominated Italian art world, these 17 women navigated many obstacles to succeed. Confident self-portraits, realistic still lifes, scenes of women's bravery, and meditative religious scenes reveal their technical skill and ingenuity. Artemisia Gentileschi (1593–c. 1656), arguably one of most famous 17th-century Italian painters today, will take center stage.

The DIA is proud to house one of her masterpieces, Judith and Her Maidservant with the Head of Holofernes, which will feature prominently in the show. Beyond Artemisia Gentileschi, the public will be introduced to a diverse and dynamic group of Italian women artists. Nearly 60 artworks from around the world highlight the creativity of these artists and celebrate their business savvy.

This show capitalizes on the strong presence of Italian Renaissance and Baroque women artists in American and European collections. The vital and often overlooked history of women artists in Italy will be shared with Detroit audiences for the first time. This show is a collaboration between the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Wadsworth Atheneum.

By Her Hand

By Her Hand: Artemisia Gentileschi and Women Artists in Italy, 1500–1800 explores the untold role of women artists. In a male-dominated Italian art world, these 17 women navigated many obstacles to succeed. Confident self-portraits, realistic still lifes, scenes of women's bravery, and meditative religious scenes reveal their technical skill and ingenuity. Artemisia Gentileschi (1593–c. 1656), arguably one of most famous 17th-century Italian painters today, will take center stage.

The DIA is proud to house one of her masterpieces, Judith and Her Maidservant with the Head of Holofernes, which will feature prominently in the show. Beyond Artemisia Gentileschi, the public will be introduced to a diverse and dynamic group of Italian women artists. Nearly 60 artworks from around the world highlight the creativity of these artists and celebrate their business savvy.

This show capitalizes on the strong presence of Italian Renaissance and Baroque women artists in American and European collections. The vital and often overlooked history of women artists in Italy will be shared with Detroit audiences for the first time. This show is a collaboration between the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Wadsworth Atheneum.

Images

Sofonisba Anguissola (Italian, ca. 1535–1625), "The Artist’s Sister in the Garb of a Nun," 1551, Oil on canvas. Southampton City Art Gallery, Purchased in 1936 through the Chipperfield Bequest Fund, 1979/14

Sofonisba Anguissola (Italian, ca. 1535–1625), "The Artist’s Sister in the Garb of a Nun," 1551, Oil on canvas. Southampton City Art Gallery, Purchased in 1936 through the Chipperfield Bequest Fund, 1979/14

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Penitent Magdalene

Caterina de Julianis (Italian, 1670–1743), "Penitent Magdalene," 1717, Polychrome wax, painted paper, glass, tempera on paper, and other materials. Detroit Institute of Arts, Museum Purchase, Robert H. Tannahill Foundation Fund, 2019.44

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Fede Galizia, :Glass Tazza with Peaches, Jasmine Flowers and Apples," 1607, oil on panel. Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Michal Hornstein, 2015.19

Fede Galizia, :Glass Tazza with Peaches, Jasmine Flowers and Apples," 1607, oil on panel. Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Michal Hornstein, 2015.19

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The Dead Christ with Symbols of the Passion

Lavinia Fontana (Italian, 1552–1614), "The Dead Christ with Symbols of the Passion," 1581, Oil, tempera on panel. The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Charles H. Schwartz Endowment Fund, 2014.4.1

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Fede Galizia (Italian, 1578–1640), "Judith with the Head of Holofernes," 1596, Oil on canvas. The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Polak, 1969, SN684

Fede Galizia (Italian, 1578–1640), "Judith with the Head of Holofernes," 1596, Oil on canvas. The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Polak, 1969, SN684

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Giovanna Garzoni (Italian, 1600–1670), "A Hedgehog in a Landscape," 1643–1651, Bodycolor on vellum. Private Collection, West Hartford, Connecticut

Giovanna Garzoni (Italian, 1600–1670), "A Hedgehog in a Landscape," 1643–1651, Bodycolor on vellum. Private Collection, West Hartford, Connecticut

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Artemisia Gentileschi (Italian, 1593–1654 or later), "Self-Portrait as a Lute Player," 1615–1617, Oil on canvas. The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Charles H. Schwartz Endowment Fund, 2014.4.1

Artemisia Gentileschi (Italian, 1593–1654 or later), "Self-Portrait as a Lute Player," 1615–1617, Oil on canvas. The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Charles H. Schwartz Endowment Fund, 2014.4.1

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Lavinia Fontana (Italian, 1552–1614), "The Holy Family with Saint Catherine of Alexandria," 1581, Oil on canvas. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Gift of The Ahmanson Foundation, M.2011.2

Lavinia Fontana (Italian, 1552–1614), "The Holy Family with Saint Catherine of Alexandria," 1581, Oil on canvas. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Gift of The Ahmanson Foundation, M.2011.2

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Artemisia Gentileschi (Italian, 1593–1654 or later), "Self-Portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria," 1615–1617, Oil on canvas. The National Gallery, London, Bought with the support of the American Friends of the National Gallery

Artemisia Gentileschi (Italian, 1593–1654 or later), "Self-Portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria," 1615–1617, Oil on canvas. The National Gallery, London, Bought with the support of the American Friends of the National Gallery

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Elisabetta Sirani (Italian, 1638–1665), "Madonna and Child," 1663, Oil on canvas. National Museum of Women in the Arts, Gift of Wallace and Wilhelmina Holladay, 1986.289

Elisabetta Sirani (Italian, 1638–1665), "Madonna and Child," 1663, Oil on canvas. National Museum of Women in the Arts, Gift of Wallace and Wilhelmina Holladay, 1986.289

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Portia Wounding Her Thigh

Elisabetta Sirani (Italian, 1638–1665), "Portia Wounding Her Thigh," 1664, Oil on canvas. Collezioni d’Arte e di Storia della Fondazione della Cassa di Risparmio di Bologna

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Diana Scultori (Italian, ca. 1535–probably 1588) Claudio Duchetti (French, active in Italy, d. 1585), "The Spinario, State I," 1581, Engraving on laid paper. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund, 2009.100.1

Diana Scultori (Italian, ca. 1535–probably 1588) Claudio Duchetti (French, active in Italy, d. 1585), "The Spinario, State I," 1581, Engraving on laid paper. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund, 2009.100.1

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"Judith and Her Maidservant with the Head of Holofernes," 1523-1525, Artemisia Gentileschi, Italian; oil on canvas. Detroit Institute of Arts.

"Judith and Her Maidservant with the Head of Holofernes," 1523-1525, Artemisia Gentileschi, Italian; oil on canvas. Detroit Institute of Arts.

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