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Artemisia Gentileschi (1593 - 1653) Lucretia, oil on canvas, 133 x 106 cm. Estimate: €500,000 - 700,000. © Dorotheum

VIENNA.- An important painting by Artemisia Gentileschi, one of art history’s most celebrated female painters, is to be offered for sale at auction at Dorotheum this Autumn. 

The painting, entitled Lucretia, is an exceptional and rare work by the 17th century Italian baroque artist Artemisia Gentileschi. It will be one of the highlights of Dorotheum’s auction week in October (23 – 25 October 2018). The painting is estimated at €500,000 - €700,000 and has been consigned from an aristocratic collection where it has been since the mid-nineteenth century. 

Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-1653) often painted heroic women of Ancient and Christian mythology. The subject of this work, is the Roman noblewoman Lucretia, popular symbol of female defiance against tyranny. 

The artist’s subject matter reflected her own life. As a young woman she suffered sexual abuse and, most unusually for her time, participated in the prosecution of her attacker. Dramatic images in many of her paintings such as the present work Lucretia, derive from her own powerful experience of violence and its aftermath. Lucretia‘s appalling tragedy in the 6th century BC led to an popular uprising which was to culminate in the fall of the Roman monarchy and the subsequent foundation of the Republic of Rome. 

Artemisia Gentileschi’s extraordinary life both as a woman and as an accomplished painter, celebrated during her own life time, is well documented and she remains an intriguing subject of films and books to this day. 

This painting, to be sold at Dorotheum in October is a rare opportunity to acquire a defining work by this increasingly relevant artist.