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Past exhibition


3 October 2020 – 24 January 2021

Location: Sainsbury Wing

"I will show Your Illustrious Lordship what a woman can do"

In 17th-century Europe, at a time when women artists were not easily accepted, Artemisia was exceptional. She challenged conventions and defied expectations to become a successful artist and one of the greatest storytellers of her time.

Artemisia painted subjects that were traditionally the preserve of male artists and for the male gaze; transforming meek maidservants into courageous conspirators and victims into survivors.

In this first major exhibition of Artemisia’s work in the UK, see her best-known paintings including two versions of her iconic and viscerally violent ‘Judith beheading Holofernes’; as well as her self portraits, heroines from history and the Bible, and recently discovered personal letters, seen in the UK for the first time.

Follow in Artemisia’s footsteps from Rome to Florence, Venice, Naples and London. Hear her voice from her letters, and see the world through her eyes.

Image above: Detail from Artemisia Gentileschi, 'Self Portrait as a Lute Player', about 1615-18. Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT Charles H. Schwartz Endowment Fund 2014.4.1 ©️ Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art

Exhibition supported by

The Thompson Family Charitable Trust 


With additional support from:

J Paul Getty Jr Charitable Trust

Katrin Henkel

Deborah Finkler and Allan Murray-Jones

Dr Nicola Coldstream


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★★★★★ 'Likely, the show of the season'
The Telegraph

★★★★★ ‘Powerful and personal art makes for a gripping visit’
The Times

★★★★★ ‘Revolutionary’
The Guardian

The Evening Standard

Find out more

Explore Artemisia's life and works on Google Arts & Culture