The Gentileschi bedroom: celebrating a 17th century female painter who achieved fame in a man’s world

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
Self-portrait as the allegory of painting

Our Facebook tours of Watermill bedrooms continue today with the Gentileschi: celebrating the life and work of Artemisia Gentileschi, an early 17th century Baroque painter working in Florence, at a time when female painters were not easily accepted by the artistic community, nor by patrons. But she was highly successful and was the first woman ever to become a member of the Accademia di Arte del Designo.

Artemisia has become a feminist’s favourite and while I appreciate her skill, I’m not the greatest of fans of Baroque painting in general. But in the naming of our bedrooms, it is good to celebrate women artists as well as the more well-known men of the Renaissance and Early Modern period. Below is Gentileschi’s rather horrific Judith slaying Holofernes, which you can see in the Uffizi gallery in Florence. It is also considered a self-portrait and carrying a feminist message, way before the #me too movement.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
Picture: the Uffizi gallery, Florence

We should celebrate two other artistic women, too: Vivienne White, our friend and interior designer, and Lois Breckon, who together chose the colours and painted the animated frieze of dandelion puffballs you can see up top.  The paintings above the bed are by a contemporary male artist, our friend and Watermill tutor Michael Willdridge, and are part of a series of 100 paintings he painted in 100 days in 2018. (Number 100 is on our sitting room wall.)

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

I’ve made one of those fun, 30-second Facebook slideshows, with more pictures of the Gentileschi bedroom, which you can see by clicking here,

We’d be delighted to welcome you here for one of our caring and inspiring creative holiday weeks – painting, creative writing, knitting and Italian language. Come and choose your favourite bedroom. You can find out more about all our fun-filled, sun-filled, inspiring creative courses by clicking here

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

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