Women artists played a vibrant and often untold role in Italy around 1600. How did they work and succeed in a male-dominated art world? The Detroit Institute of Arts will explore this question and celebrate Italian women artists with a show devoted to their artistic accomplishments. Artemisia Gentileschi (1593–c. 1656), arguably one of most famous 17th-century Italian painters today, will take center stage.
The DIA is proud to house one of her masterpieces, Judith and Her Maidservant with the Head of Holofernes, which will feature prominently in the show. Beyond Artemisia Gentileschi, the public will be introduced to a diverse and dynamic group of Italian women artists—from the court artist Sofonisba Anguissola (1532–1625) to the painter and printmaker from Bologna Elisabetta Sirani (1638–1665)—among other talented and virtually unknown Italian women artists.
This show capitalizes on the strong presence of Italian Renaissance and Baroque women artists in American and European collections. The vital and often overlooked history of women artists in Italy will be shared with Detroit audiences for the first time. This show is a collaboration between the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Wadsworth Atheneum.