Recent conservation of the CMA’s Italian Baroque painting “Danaë” by Orazio Gentileschi (1563–1639) has revealed a more vibrant and refined painting than has hitherto been possible to perceive.
It is an extraordinary work now conveying the artist’s trademark virtuosity in painting drapery and flesh tones. “Danaë” is the second version of a picture painted in Genoa around 1621–22 by Orazio, who often copied his own works; these subsequent versions can rival the original in quality.
While issues of attribution are still very much alive in several works by Orazio and his daughter Artemisia, it is clear that both artists returned to and reworked certain themes and compositions throughout their careers. In content and form, Orazio’s “Danaë” is a key example of this phenomenon. In the exhibition, Danaë will be at the center of an intimate group of paintings by father and daughter that will beautifully distill the artists’ capacity to modify and manipulate forms across subjects.