Skip to content ↓


Page 1

  • Artemisia Gentileschi

    Published 10/03/22
    Destroying stereotypes and painting herself as a feminist legend.

    Artemisia Gentileschi was an Italian painter, who was hugely underrated simply because of the fact that she was a woman. She lived during the 1600s, a time when women were expected to complete chores around the house, and be completely obedient to their husbands, however, Artemisia was different…

    Childhood and Early Training…

    Artemisia Gentileschi was born on July 8, 1593, in Rome to Prudentia Montone (who died when Artemisia was 12), and Orazio Gentileschi, a well-known painter at the time. As the eldest of several children, Gentileschi quickly showed a huge interest in art and began to learn from her father.

    In 1611, Orazio was hired to decorate the Palazzo Pallavicini-Rospigliosi in Rome, alongside another painter, Agostino Tassi. Hoping to help the 17-year-old Artemisia to refine and develop her painting technique, Orazio hired Tassi to tutor her. This gave Tassi full access to Artemisia and during one of their tutoring sessions, took advantage of her. Because of this, Artemisia believed that she was to wed him, but Tassi refused. Even more unusually, Orazio made the decision to press charges against Tassi.  As part of the court proceedings, Artemisia had to undergo torture with thumbscrews in order to see if she was lying or not. For an early artist, this form of torture could have caused permanent damage and long-term mental illness, but Artemisia fortunately avoided any serious damage to her fingers.

    Tassi was finally found guilty and was punished by being exiled from Rome. However, the sentence was never fully performed, as Tassi received protection from the Pope due to his “incredible” artistic skill.

    The Rise and Fall…

    While living in Florence, Artemisia became the first woman to be accepted into the Academia delle Arti del Disegno (the Academy of Arts and Drawing). This allowed her to purchase her supplies and needs without the permission of her husband (Pierantonio Stiattesi, whom she was arranged to marry) and to sign her own contracts. She also gained the support of many citizens, along with the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Cosimo II de'Medici, from whom she received many detailed commissions.

    In 1618, Artemisia and her husband had a daughter, Prudentia, who was named after Artemisia's deceased mother. Around this time, Artemisia had begun a secret affair with a Florentine nobleman called Francesco Maria di Niccolò Maringhi. Unfortunately, Artemisia's husband knew about the affair and used his wife's love letters to communicate with Maringhi himself.  Alongside the controversial rumours regarding Artemisia's affair triggered disagreement between the couple, and in 1621, Artemisia returned to Rome without her husband.

    A Happy Ending?

    Continuing her lifestyle without her husband (but with her daughter), Gentileschi moved to Naples in 1630, where she worked with a number of well-known artists in the area, such as Massimo Stanzione.   In 1638, Artemisia was invited to the court of Charles I of England in London where her father had been the court painter since 1626. Despite the fact that they had not seen each other for more than 17 years, there is very little record of Orazio and Artemisia reunion. Whilst in London, Artemisia painted some of her most famous works including her Self-Portrait in 1638. It’s also possible that she worked alongside her father on an Allegorical Fresco for the Greenwich residence of Charles I's wife, Queen Henrietta Maria. Sadly, Orazio died in 1639 at the age of 75 because of some sort of illness, and again, it is possible that Artemisia's assistance was needed to help her ageing  father. It’s believed that Artemisia remained in London for a few years after her father’s death, but definitely managed to escape before civil war broke out.

    In 1652, Artemisia Gentileschi passed away at the age of 60. She lived a tragic and eventful life, and managed to thrive in a male-dominant field as a woman. However, even centuries after her death, her works are still marvelled at, examined and displayed in museums. She is considered a feminist painter and a legend due to her common themes of women empowerment in her paintings.

    Alex Potocnik Hahonina, Year 8
    BGS Art Prefect


    Read More
  • Year 8 Art Perspective Project

    Published 20/01/22

    Our Year 8 artists have been warping size and space using the power of perspective. These are genuine photos, and no editing has taken place. 

    Mr Gilmore, Art Department

    Header title photograph by Jerzy Danilczuk.














                   Hannah Smith                                                                                 Isabella Huggett    

                                                                                    Samuel Jusu



    Read More
  • Banksy - an anonymous graffiti artist, inspiring millions around the world. . .

    Published 04/11/21

    Banksy is a British anonymous graffiti artist, political activist, film director, sculptor and author, and uses their art to loudly proclaim their dissatisfaction with certain aspects of society, political situations, and even decisions made by world leaders. Their work pops up in multiple public places, such as the walls of buildings. Their style is easily recognizable, as it has remained consistent throughout the years.

    A little background information. . .
    The aspiring creator was born in Bristol in 1974, and is said to have been a pupil at Bristol Cathedral School and also to have attended St Brendan’s Sixth Form College. They began as an artist at the age of 14, and was expelled from school and served time in prison for a petty crime.

    The beginning. . .
    The artist began their career in the early 1990s.  Banksy admired the works of Blek Le Rat, and often recycled the artist's old ideas, moulding their own distinctive voice and style as they went. Initially, they were part of a graffiti crew in Bristol by the name of DryBreadZ crew or DBZ, and occasionally used stencils for their work.  In the late 90s, they began using stencils predominantly.  Later on, they started sharing their art on social media. Their first known mural was a piece called “The Mild Mild West”, which was created in response to police armed in riot gear attacking party goers at an event at Winterstroke.  The image depicts a teddy bear tossing a moatov cocktail at policemen in riot gear.

    A rise in popularity. . .
    Banksy was noticed as a freehand artist in 1993, and had numerous newspaper articles written about them. Using stencils since 2000 to enhance their speed, they developed a distinctive iconography of highly recognizable images, such as rats and policemen that showed their anti-authoritarian message. With wry wit and stealth, Banksy merged graffiti art with installation and performance. Their work has been featured in multiple museums, somewhere Banksy them self came and performed. Their most famous work of art is a piece called “There is Always Hope”, which depicts a small child reaching out for a heart-shaped balloon, which is believed to represent love, hope, innocence, childhood and self-confidence. It's thought that the piece symbolises losing something which is within your grasp.  Etched into the wall to the right of the little girl, are the words THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE.

    Some fun facts. . .

    • The identity of the graffiti artist has remained anonymous, however Banksy's real name is thought to be Robin Gunningham, as first reported by The Mail on Sunday in 2008.
    • Love is in the Bin has officially become the most expensive Banksy artwork ever, auctioned off at $25.4 million.
    • Banksy’s net worth is estimated to be £39.9 million.
    • Approximately, the graffiti artist has created over 2000 pieces.

    Click here to view the Banksy art gallery

    Alex Potocnik Hahonina, Year 8 Art Prefect

    Read More

Page 1