Artemisia Gentileschi’s Maddalena Penitente restored
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Artemisia Gentileschi’s Maddalena Penitente restored

Freshly restored, Artemisia Gentileschi’s 'Maddalena Penitente' painting was likely painted in Florence during the artist’s stay at the Medici court.

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Tue 13 Sep 2022 2:42 PM

Artemisia Gentileschi’s Maddalena Penitente painting has been restored and will be presented in Palazzo Vecchio’s Sala d’Arme on September 13 at 6pm.

Artemisia Gentileschi’s Penitent Magdalene

The presentation of the striking artwork will be accompanied by a lecture by Dr. Roberta Lapucci in addition to presenting the proceedings of the From Artemisia to the others: the women of Caravaggio study day in October 2021. The initiative is organized by Caravaggio & Contemporary (C&C), a non-profit that was founded by Jane Adams with Dr. Lapucci, in collaboration with the City of Florence. In the past, Jane Adams worked with Jane Fortune on various restorations and projects aimed at studying works by female artists. Adams also found funding for the restoration of Artemisia Gentileschi’s Sinite Parvulos for the church of San Carlo al Corso, in Rome, and directed the restoration project and accompanying events.

The proceedings concern the study day organized by the Municipality of Monte Santa Maria Tiberina (PG), at the Bourbon del Monte Palace Museum on October 2, 2021 and the publication includes essays by scholars such as Lisa Ginsborg, Christine Wilding, Roberta Lapucci, Helen Manner Watterson, Veronica Vestri, Isabella Pascucci, Riccardo Lattuada, Gianni Papi, Susan Grundy, Anna Maria Panzera, Alessandra Masu, Gianluca Forgione and Consuelo Lollobrigida. The research is dedicated to a scholar emeritus two years after her death, MaryAnn Beckinsale, who was committed to rediscovering female artists and characters of historical and cultural importance throughout her life, as in her last conference, Resetting the table: A symposium on Feminist Art and Herstory of 2017.

The restoration of the Maddalena Penitente becomes the reason for deepening the personal and artistic ties between Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio and Artemisia Gentileschi, much closer than has been assumed to date. The work was most likely painted in Florence during the artist’s stay at the Medici court, which lends it a special significance in bringing it to Palazzo Vecchio before returning to the United States of America, where it will be seen on long-term loan at a prestigious museum.

On this occasion, a terracotta sculpture of Artemisia Gentileschi will also be unveiled. Created by sculptor Gabriele Vicari, in partnership with the old furnace Mariani M.I.T.A.L in Impruneta, the artist used local clay and sought inspiration in Artemisia’s self-portraits. Born in Lucca in 1971, Vicari attended the Lucca Art Institute and the Carrara Academy of Fine Arts.

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