Episode 5

Published on:

28th Jan 2020

Artemisia Gentileschi & the Bloody Canvas

“As long as I live I will have control over my being

So wrote bold Baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi, who took control of her life and her art, breaking the norms of society both in gaining renown for her painting and in taking her rapist to court at a time when few women were able to do either.

Ash gets deep into the fetishisation of women killing men in Baroque painting, touches on why 17th century ‘it girls’ opted to hold spikes in their portraits, and establishes that the only thing to wear when beheading an enemy general is Damascus pearls.

*also, the one in which Sarah has fallen down the stairs


Garrard, Mary D. Artemisia Gentileschi : The Image of the Female Hero in Italian Baroque Art (1989). Print.

Marjorie Och, "Violence and Virtue: Artemisia Gentileschi’s ‘Judith Slaying Holofernes,’ Art Institute of Chicago, October 17, 2013-January 9, 2014," catalogue by Eve Straussman-Pflanzer, The Woman’s Art Journal 35/2 (2014): 63-64.

"It's True It's True It's True" preformed by Breach Theatre at the Underbelly, Cowgate, Edinburgh 2018

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About the Podcast

Demons and Dames
Demons & Dames is a tongue-in-cheek feminist history podcast. Ashley Mauritzen and Sarah Worley-Hill dive deep into the stories of notorious women who shaped history - by design or simply by being in the right (or wrong) time or place. We examine how they were viewed by their contemporaries, and how and why their stories have been interpreted, shaped and passed down. We also laugh. A lot.

About your hosts

Ashley Mauritzen

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Writer, thinker and former wild child, Ashley has a BA in English Literature from Oxford (apparently - she doesn't remember any of it) and an MA in Fashion Journalism. She does an uncanny Kate Bush impression, wears wigs on nights in, and asked for 10 metres of black velvet ribbon for Christmas when she was seven. By day, she's a commercial semiotician. It's a thing. Former alter egos include Oxford gossip column denizen 'Masher', queer comedy performance artist 'the Dreary Mademoiselle', cerebral burlesque star 'Curious Peach', and everyone's favourite Halloween mashup - 'Adam Antoinette.'

Sarah Worley-Hill

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Bibliophile, historian, and all round goof ball. Sarah has an MA Oxon from Oxford University in Ancient and Modern History, but has also taught maths at a boys' boarding school so considers herself an all-rounder. She would invite Alexander the Great, Queen Teuta of Illyria, and Wu Zetian to her ideal time-machine sponsored dinner party but would definitely need a translator. She loves her Shih Tzu, Calypso, very much and wants to get a French bulldog named Odysseus. She's terribly dyslexic and really really can't spell (or pronounce things). She has a mild tea obsession.