Naomi Rea: Artnet

Conservators and scientists in Florence have uncovered previously unknown drawings below the surface of a work by Baroque master Artemisia Gentileschi, revealing that the celebrated painter may have often painted herself into her depictions of martyrs.

Over the course of a month-long investigation of her Saint Catherine of Alexandria (1618–20), which belongs to the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, researchers from the Opificio delle Pietre Dure workshop carried out infrared, ultraviolet, and x-ray studies strongly indicating that the artist used the same base drawings for more than one painting. After superimposing the hidden images onto other examples of her work, researchers found that one underlying drawing was “virtually identical” to Gentileschi’s Self Portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria (1615–17), which the National Gallery in London acquired for $4.7 million last summer. Experts say this new evidence bolsters hypotheses that the artist often based her female figures on her own image. …Read More

Image: Left: Artemisa Gentileschi, Saint Catherine of Alexandria (1618–20). Uffizi Galleries, Florence. Right: the same portrait under X-Ray.