Artemisia Gentileschi in your face!

It’s International Women’s Day today, and I wrote an article about it for The List which is just slightly absurd because the brief was to choose inspirational women from all of human history and to get it in under 600 words. There’s also a completely bizarre non-sequitur of a comment, which appears to refer to a totally different article, I have no idea what.

So instead, here is a self-portrait of one of my favourite painters, Artemisia Gentileschi, entitled ‘Self-Portrait as the Allegory of Painting’, and rightly so.


Gentileschi was a very fine painter in the Caravaggio school. I won’t go into her extraordinary life story because her work should speak for itself. Look her up. I know that this is a blog meant to be about performance, but this painting is itself a performance, and an extremely gutsy one at that.

Look at that necklace. If you’re looking at it and wondering ‘Is that a fucking human head necklace she’s wearing?’ then I can tell you that, yes it is. Here’s a blow-up of the original image to prove it:

Screen Shot 2015-03-08 at 23.02.06

Artemisia Gentileschi, folks. Happy International Women’s Day.

Artemisia Gentileschi in your face!