London, England, Mar 4, 2020 / 03:01 am
For years, the dramatic paintings of Artemisia Gentileschi, a Catholic artist of the Counter-Reformation, were misattributed to male artists – most often her father, Orazio, who was also a painter.
And it keeps happening. Just this week, the Smithsonian Magazine reported that a 17th-century painting of David and Goliath, which depicts David nonchalantly resting on Goliath's sword and seated over the giant's decapitated head, was confirmed to be the work of Gentileschi, and not of Italian painter Giovanni Francesco Guerrieri, as once thought.
In 1975, when the painting first began appearing at art auctions, it was thought to be by Guerrieri. It wasn't until 1996 that art historian Gianni Papi thought the painting might be by Gentileschi, based on a photo of the painting he had seen, the Smithsonian reported.
The painting was sold in 2018 to an anonymous buyer, and was labeled as a Gentileschi at the last minute. It had previously been attributed to "a seventeenth-century painter of the school of Caravaggio," the Smithsonian reported, but with no name. Gentileschi's work was inspired by the style of Caravaggio.