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Date of Award

Spring 1989


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Document Type

Thesis: EWU Only

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA) in College Instruction




Although Florence was not considered a major center of activity for Caravaggesque painting during the early Seicento, elements of Caravaggesque style nevertheless appear in the work of some Tuscan artists during the second and third decades. Stylistic sources for the assimilation of Caravaggesque tradition by these artists are limited to either Roman followers of Caravaggio who traveled through Tuscany, to trips Tuscan painters may have made to Rome, to Caravaggesque painting in the Medici collections or to the presence of Artemisia Gentileschi in Florence between 1613-1620. While the documentary evidence in support of the first two possibilities is inconclusive at best, the physical presence of Caravaggesque paintings in Florence as well as the presence of Artemisia as an actively practicing and respected Caravaggesque painter have been documented. This study represents an assessment of the extent and significance of Artemisia's contribution to Caravaggesque tradition in Tuscany derived from a stylistic analysis and comparison of her Florentine-produced work with selected paintings by three of her Tuscan contemporaries--Cristofano Allori, Francesco Rustici and Rutilio Manetti. The approach used centers on a reconstructive research methodology utilizing integrated scholarship from three areas: Italian painting ln the late Cinquecento and early Seicento, Artemisia's biography and a stylistic analysis of her Caravaggesque works produced between 1612- 1620. Within the framework of this art historical context, selected works by Allori, Rustici and Manetti are examined for the presence of stylistic elements that are more typical of Artemisia than Caravaggio, Orazio Gentileschi or other Caravaggist influences., A stylistic analysis and comparison of paintings by Caravaggio, Orazio and Artemisia reveals that Artemisia's Caravaggesque manner consistently displays several qualities which result from her own unique design. A similar approach between paintings by Artemisia.and Allori, Rustici and Manetti reveals an assimilation of some elements of her innovative Caravaggesque manner by each of these artists. While a complete assessment of her contribution is not possible, based on the limited amount of available documentation, it is clear from this stylis- tic analysis that Artemisia played a significant role in sustaining and enriching Caravaggesque tradition through her active role as a successful and respected Florentine painter