Oil on canvas.
2.08m by 1.28m
Palazzo D’Accursio, Bologna.
This painting of Pietro Gentile portrays him as a Gonfaloniere or standard-bearer. The work is sometimes entitled a Portrait of a Condottiere or mercenary. The Maltese Cross denotes membership in a North Italian military order, SS Maurizio e Lazzaro. She applies chiaroscuro to the left side of his face, the side on which his sword is strapped. His effeminate hands suggest that his familiarity with weaponry is largely ceremonial.
In the film, “Artemisia”, the client examining this painting believes that it has been painted by her father, Orazio, from whom it was commissioned, in 1612. It is actually one of Artemisia’s rare portraits completed in 1622.
The Artist’s Life
n 1622, nearly ten years after the infamous court case, Artemisia returned to Rome. A census in 1624 notes her as the head of the household rather than Stiattesi’s wife. It appears that she bore a second daughter around this time. Artemisia trained both girls as artists. If so, none of their works survive.