Find out what critics had to say about the National Gallery’s Artemisia exhibition with our review round up….

Artemisia Gentileschi
Susannah and the Elders, 1622
Oil on canvas
161.5 × 123 cm
© The Burghley House Collection

The Guardian: ***** “the National Gallery – especially Treves but also its director Gabriele Finaldi – deserve so much praise for finally ratting out the conspiracy of sneers and revealing Artemisia Gentileschi in her full staggering strength, with a sword in one hand and a tent peg in the other. It is impossible to imagine, after this great show, that she will ever be cast down again.”

The Telegraph: ***** “Don’t miss this exhibition which brilliantly showcases the paintings of the queen bee of female empowerment.”

Evening Standard: ***** “It’s tempting to see her choice of subjects — often heroic women — or their depictions through the lens of the sexual violence she experienced. But although no doubt her startlingly visceral depictions of Judith and her maidservant beheading Holofernes were informed by her painful awareness that it would take two women to hold one big man down, her subjects were popular ones, often painted by other artists. Hers are simply more emotionally acute.”

BBC.co.uk: ***** “There is an art to exhibiting art. Good curators are more than specialist academics with arcane knowledge they share from time to time with us in an exhibition. Good curators are storytellers with a sense of theatre and occasion. Good curators are impresarios.

The Upcoming: ***** “This is a revelatory exhibition, presenting Artemisia Gentileschi as an exceptionally talented artist who struggled with and against the system to make a name for herself, find financial stability, and create paintings with her trademark intensity and emotional drama.”

Culture Whisper: ***** “This spine-tingling exhibition is not to be missed. As you walk through the spot-lit galleries, Gentileschi’s story unfolds scene by scene, like a historical biopic. The show includes passionate letters she wrote to her lover, details of her visit to the court of Charles I in London, and touching notes on the professional rivalry that developed between her and her father. Artemisia Gentileschi was a formidable talent, who lent a woman’s perspective to man’s world.”

iNews: ***** “From the first Susanna and the Elders, painted with precocity at 17, to the third, completed 42 years later, what radiates is Artemisia’s pride in her own skill. In early self-portraits she appears as Saint Catherine of Alexandria – a noble martyr.”

Londonist: **** “While there are some spectacular paintings in this show, not every work gripped us with some being less naturalistic than the masterpieces. However, given everything she had to overcome and the fact that she was still able to create great works, this exhibition is proof that Artemisia is a painter everybody should know about — it is true, it is true, it is true.”   

The National Gallery’s Artemisia exhibition is on display until the 24th January 2021.