Susanna And The Elders Essay

Words: 1335
Pages: 6

Susanna And The Elders by Artemisia Gentileschi
Susanna was bathing in her garden when two men appear and threaten her to have sex with them. If she refuses they'd say she was seeing a men in her garden. Since she refused she was falsely accused and sent for execution. However Daniel stops her execution and question the two men separately. They give different testimony and Susanna is set free. The story of Susanna is included in the Christian bible in the book of Daniel by the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. It is also one of the additions to Daniel that considered apocryphal by Protestants and is not even included in the Jewish literature. In part because of the fact that it puts men in a situation of dishonesty and in part because
…show more content…
Unlike many others, including Rembrandt's, Gentileschi's painting has Susanna without any jewelry or luxurious coverings. It's as if she is saying that social status is irrelevant for women when they are against men. It shows how vulnerable women must feel in a society that is forcing them to accept such behavior coming from men. Although her painting is from the Baroque era, and has pastels tones that are similar to the paintings of pastoral life, the emotions transmitted through her work would make it easily fit for the Romantic era. It's clear that Gentileschi makes use of her skills to express her ideals and not those of her patrons. Even though the Medici were very influential, Gentileschi was able to surpass her obstacles and create art that was meaningful. Nevertheless, what she really wanted to paint would be too brutal for the society at that time, especially coming from a female artist. In an x-ray of the painting, Kathleen Gilje revealed a layer that Gentileschi left hidden (see Fig. 3). Gentileschi's first version of Susanna was even more rebellious, it was vindictive. The knife in her hand gave Susanna a stronger persona, perhaps that's why Gentileschi ended up changing it later. It's possible that she changed the painting in order for it to be profitable, as she had to work her way up with the Medici. Nevertheless, she was still able to leave her own mark of