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Pointon, M. (1981). Artemesia Gentileschi's The Murder of Holofernes. Am. Imago, 38(4):343-367.

(1981). American Imago, 38(4):343-367

Artemesia Gentileschi's The Murder of Holofernes

Marcia Pointon, Ph.D.

“If the radical discontent of women … has grown into such a Niagara Falls of protest as we hear today, are we to suppose that it always existed but was rarely expressed, or that it is only now being experienced and cannot be hidden and sublimated?”

Anita Brookner, in a review of Germaine Greer's The Obstacle Race, (Times Literary Supplement, 29th November 1979)

Among the many seicento paintings which depict brutality, torture and violence in the Museo di Capidìmonte in Naples, is Artemesia Gentileschi's The Murder of Holofernes (fig. 1). That a scene of such open physical violence comes from the hand of a woman artist is disturbing to nearly everyone. In recent years, Artemesia has begun to attract attention

2 Nicolson lists two versions of the painting in the Uffizzi, Florence (199 × 162.5) and Capodimonte, Naples (163 x 126) and two copies, one in the Galleria dell'Archivescovado, Milan (as Guercino) and the other in the Pinacoteca Nazionale, Bologna, A.

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