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Portrait of the Artist
This exhibition is in the past. View our current exhibitions.

Self-Portrait as the Allegory of Painting (La Pittura)


RCIN 405551

Artemisia Gentileschi is shown conceiving the idea for a painting – her brush poised ready to realise her vision on the empty canvas. Dressed in a dirtied apron and leaning on a grinding stone, she strains to observe her subject, sleeves pushed up to reveal muscular forearms. The gold chain around her neck – on which hangs a mask symbolising imitation – as well as her wild hair and iridescent dress, all correspond with the description of 'Pittura', the female personification of Painting. In conflating her own likeness with 'Pittura', Gentileschi creates a truly original image – and one unavailable to her male contemporaries.

No. 101

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