(1563-1639 and 1593-1652/1653)
Born in Pisa, Orazio di Giovanni Battista Lomi Gentileschi, the second son of a Florentine goldsmith, settled in Rome sometime around 1676-1678, adopting the matronymic Gentileschi by which both he and his daughter Artemisia would be known throughout their professional lives. Orazio's career began as a member of the vast crew of painters enlisted to complete the decoration of the Biblioteca Sistina in the Vatican and ended as court painter to Charles I and Henrietta Marie of England. Often grouped with the minor Caravaggisti, Orazio developed a personal style that reflected a much wider range of influences and competitors, as he painted religious, mythological, and allegorical subjects for a succession of popes and patrons including the Borghese and Sauli families in Fabriano and Genoa, Marie de'Medici, and the Duke of Buckingham.
Born in Rome, Artemisia was the only daughter and oldest child of Orazio and Prudentia Montoni. Orphaned at twelve, she lived and painted under her father's tutelage, completing her first dated painting, Susanna and the Elders, in 1610. In the next year, she studied with Agostino Tassi. In 1612, charges of rape were brought against Tassi, and though he was convicted, the scandal led to a hasty marriage to Pietro Antonio di Vicenzo Stiattesi. Artemisia and Pierantonio, as he preferred to be called, left for Florence where, over the next half dozen years, she bore two sons and two daughters and established a significant reputation as a painter, counting among her patrons Cosimo II. By 1621, she returned to Rome with her family and took up residence in her father's house; by 1623, Pierantonio, who had encouraged her career in Florence, left her. Artemisia's career, however, continued to flourish as she completed commissions for Philip IV of Spain, Cardinal Barberini, Francesco I d'Este, and Ferdinando II de'Medici, among others. In 1635, she declined an invitation to join her father and brother in England to work at the court of Charles I, although sometime between 1637 and 1639 she acquiesced. Sometime after 1640 she returned