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Monograph presented at Palazzo Pitti for the Italian Renaissance’s most famous female artist
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17 May 2018

The Menarini art series emboldened by the courage of Artemisia

Monograph presented at Palazzo Pitti for the Italian Renaissance’s most famous female artist

She overcame prejudice, turned her pain into beauty and claimed her right to be a free woman. The protagonist of this year’s  Menarini art volume was born more than 400 years ago, and yet this inspirational painter is still relevant in today’s world. For the first time in 61 years, the Menarini Group art series pays homage to a female artist: Artemisia Gentileschi.

On 12th May, against the spectacular backdrop of the Sala Bianca at the Palazzo Pitti, Eike Schmidt, Director of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, and author Alessandro Grassi presented the volume, published by Menarini  together with Pacini Editore, tracing the life and works of Artemisia Gentileschi.

Born in Rome in 1593, Artemisia was able to establish herself in a predominantly male environment, winning over the Italian and European courts with her determination and refinement. A strong and resolute woman, with the support of her father Orazio she found the courage to denounce the rape she suffered as a teenager at the hands of her teacher Agostino Tassi, thus giving rise to Italy’s first rape trial.

With the aim of telling the story behind the life of this extraordinary artist, both in Italy and abroad, Menarini has also published the monograph in English, in acknowledgement of the company’s growing international presence.

Eike Schmidt, Director of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, said “It was only really after the second World War that Artemisia Gentileschi’s story was retold in artistic literature, and only in the last few decades that her popularity has taken off once again. At least two biographies (the first by Anna Banti in 1947 which first brought Artemisia back into the spotlight, followed by a well-documented piece in 1999 by Alexandra Lapierre), as well as numerous monographs, articles and exhibitions have progressively shed light on this talented artist, along with her personal life. The unconventional, yet elegant use of Caravaggio’s style and the crudeness of the scene in Artemisia’s Judith beheading Holofernes, for example, makes it the second most clicked piece on the Uffizi Instagram after Caravaggio’s own painting, Medusa.

Alessandro Grassi, the author of the monograph commented: “This volume on Artemisia Gentileschi is a stimulating and lively introduction to the works of a  magnificent artist living in Europe in the seventeenth century. Rather than a meticulous catalogue that appeals exclusively to experts, it is a volume which invites the reader to understand and appreciate every nuance of Artemisia’s cultural poignancy.”

Chairman of the Menarini Group, Lucia Aleotti, added, “By dedicating a volume to Artemisia Gentileschi, we are not only reinforcing the company’s artistic pursuits, we are also paying homage to a woman who was subject to violence yet had the strength and the courage to put her life together again. Menarini has always been committed to initiatives aimed at helping society’s most vulnerable people, and this year we have supported a series of training courses for journalists on the delicate topic of gender-based violence. We hope that Artemisia’s courage can be an inspiration to all those silent victims who have yet to find the strength to come forward.”

Artemisia_Gentileschi

Presentation of Menarini monograph on Artemisia Gentileschi. Sala Bianca, Palazzo Pitti, Florence

Artemisia_Gentileschi
 Presentation of Menarini monograph on Artemisia Gentileschi . Alberto Giovanni Aleotti (Vice Chairman Menarini Group), Lucia Aleotti (Chairman Menarini Group) and Eric Cornut (Board Member Menarini Group)

Artemisia_Gentileschi
Presentation of Menarini monograph on Artemisia Gentileschi . Alessandro Grassi (Author), Alberto Giovanni Aleotti (Vice Chairman Menarini Group), Eike Schmidt (Director of the Uffizi's Gallery), Lucia Aleotti (Chairman Menarini Group) and Eric Cornut  (Board Member Menarini Group)

Artemisia_Gentileschi

Presentation of Menarini monograph on Artemisia Gentileschi Lucia Aleotti (Chairman Menarini Group), Alessandro Grassi  (Author)  and Eike Schmidt  (Director of the Uffizi's Gallery)  

Artemisia_Gentileschi

Presentation of Menarini monograph on Artemisia Gentileschi Alessandro Grassi (Author) and Eike Schmidt  (Director of the Uffizi's Gallery)

Artemisia_Gentileschi
Presentation of Menarini monograph on Artemisia Gentileschi . Alessandro Grassi (Author)

Artemisia_Gentileschi

Presentation of Menarini monograph on Artemisia Gentileschi Alberto Giovanni Aleotti (Vice Chairman Menarini Group), Eike Schmidt  (Director of the Uffizi's Gallery)  and Lucia Aleotti  (Chairman Menarini Group)

Artemisia_Gentileschi
 Presentation of Menarini monograph on Artemisia Gentileschi Valeria Speroni Cardi (Head of Menarini Press & Media Relations), Alberto Giovanni Aleotti (Vice Chairman Menarini Group), Eike Schmidt  (Director of the Uffizi's Gallery) and Lucia Aleotti (Chairman Menarini Group)

Artemisia_Gentileschi
Presentation of Menarini monograph on Artemisia Gentileschi. Alberto Giovanni Aleotti (Vice Chairman Menarini Group), Eike Schmidt  (Director of the Uffizi's Gallery)  and Lucia Aleotti (Chairman Menarini Group)

Artemisia_Gentileschi

Presentation of Menarini monograph on Artemisia Gentileschi . Palazzo Pitti, Florence

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