Italy Thwarts Potential Illegal Sale of $2M Artemisia Gentileschi Painting


The painting by Artemisia Gentileschi was intercepted by Italian law enforcement. (image via Carabinieri TPC)

Italian police say they stopped the Viennese auction dwelling Dorotheum from providing an oil painting by Artemisia Gentileschi, a 17th-century Italian painter who is most well-known for her depictions of woman energy in the confront of male cruelty.

An investigation into the painting began in 2020, according to a push launch from the Carabinieri Command for the Safety of Cultural Heritage (Carabinieri TPC), Italian legislation enforcement’s art crime unit. Gentileschi’s portray “Caritas Romana” was reportedly exported in 2019 with files that concealed the identity of the painting’s creator and assigned the get the job done a lowball price. Carabinieri TPC now values the get the job done at €2,000,000 (~$2,036,100). Italy’s strict antiquity export regulations normally ban the movement of its cultural heritage to other nations.

A spokesperson for Dorotheum, nonetheless, instructed Hyperallergic that the portray was “legally exported” by its house owners working with an export license from the Italian Monuments Office that listed it as “attributed to Artemisia Gentileschi and/or Onofrio Palumbo, previously attributed to Massimo Stanzione.”

“This export license was subsequently revoked in 2020,” the spokesperson added. “The owners, who inherited the painting, have because been in an open up legal dispute with the export authority around the revocation of this export permit from Italy. The portray was neither supplied in an auction nor in a personal treaty.”

“The painting was on the verge of staying auctioned,” Carabinieri Lieutenant Coronel Alfio Gullotta told Italian point out Television set. “Caritas Romana” has returned to the Italian metropolis of Bari, where by it is getting held by the authorities. Ought to a coming trial discover the painting’s latest house owners responsible, “Caritas Romana” could grow to be the everlasting house of the condition and perhaps finish up on the walls of a museum.

Gentileschi has turn into more and more well known in the latest many years, but the artist also obtained a significant degree of achievement during her life time, a rarity for a lady in the 17th-century Italian artwork world. Nonetheless, Gentileschi is normally talked over in relation to an incident of sexual assault that took position in her teenage years: At age 18, she was raped by her father’s close friend, and following accusing the gentleman (a renowned painter), she was tortured during the trial.

In considerably of her function, Gentileschi depicted ladies struggling and painted them into scenes of violence. Current concerns of the artist, nevertheless, have granted her much more autonomy in how she crafted her possess life — a single of wealth and electrical power which she thoroughly cultivated. Other investigations into Gentileschi have emphasized her overtly feminist concepts and actions, and the themes in her paintings, from the Early Contemporary era, are enduringly resonant nowadays.


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