Artemisia Gentileschi: Sleeping Venus

Sleeping Venus: Artemisia Gentileschi

Sleeping Venus is a 1630 painting by Italian Baroque artist Artemisia Gentileschi. It is located in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Analysis of Gentileschi’s Sleeping Venus

Some maintain that this Venus, here fanned by her son Cupid while she drifts to sleep, bears the face of the artist herself. If so, this is an expression and manifestation of supremely confident and proud womanhood painted with realistic tones and colors but yet a highly idealized and classicized expression.

Gentileschi was one of the few prominent female artists of her time and is known for her powerful and emotionally charged paintings. She was often inspired by stories of powerful women from history and mythology, and her depictions of female subjects were characterized by their strength and agency.

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