Degree Granting Department
Humanities and Cultural Studies
Naomi Yavneh, Ph.D.
Annette Cozzi, Ph.D.
Giovanna Benadusi, Ph.D.
Baroque, Susanna and the Elders, self referential
Artemisia Gentileschi’s Susanna and the Elder’s trilogy consisting of her 1610,
1622 and 1649 paintings is a self referential series based on the artist’s own feelings of
betrayal by the men in her life. These works are comprised of her first canvas showing
youthful fear, and a very importantly timed work in mid-career symbolizing commercial
success. In these, she relates the Apocryphal tale of Susanna and the Elders to events that
are happening to Gentileschi at each stage of her life and career, aging the figures of
Susanna and the Elders along with the appropriate time in her own life. In the final
canvas of the trilogy, Gentileschi brings the work to full circle, using the story to make
peace with her past by visualizing a reconciliation with her father Orazio, from whom she
had been estranged from her most of her career, both as parent and as artistic mentor.
Scholar Commons Citation
Silvers, Deborah Anderson, "Artemisia Gentileschi : The Heart of a Woman and the Soul of a Caesar" (2010). Graduate Theses and Dissertations.