women in the arts

Artemisia Gentileschi & Emily Carr

Today’s Illustrated Women in History were written and illustrated by Amy Kovac @kovvac.

Artemisia Gentileschi was among the greatest Italian Baroque painters and was among the first female artists to achieve
success in the 17th century. She createdwork that focused on strong and mostimportantly, realistic humanized women.

At the age of 18, she was raped by one of her father’s colleagues, Agostino Tassi. Artemisia was tortured in the hearing
against Tassi who was never punished. Her depiction of “Judith Slaying Holofernes” is often interpreted as a painted revenge for the rape. It shows her visceral anger and leaves no room for female idealized beauty.

After her death, she drifted into obscurity, and because she was a rare female artist her works were often attributed to her
father or other artists. Only recently has Artemisia been recognized as the talented seventeenth century
painter that she was and one of the world’s greatest female artists.



Emily Carr was among the most original and well-known Canadian artists of the 20th century. She had a passion for her province of British Columbia and her paintings offer a unique perspective of natural Canadian beauty. She is often tied to the famous Canadian painters, The Group of Seven. However, it wasn’t until she was 56 that she met the group in Ontario. She described their impact on her, “They are big and courageous. I know they are building an art worthy of our great country, and I want to have my share, to put in a little spoke for the West, one woman holding up my end.”

Carr was inspired by both Canadian landscapes and First Nation culture. Her interest in the culture coincided with a surge of public awareness and activism for First Nations issues. During a time in society when domesticity and marriage were expected, Carr took her independence and strayed from that path. She has since had a profound influence on Canadian art .

You can follow Amy Kovac on instagram @kovvac.

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