Art History: Artemisia Gentileschi

Ref: C2343610

How Artemisia Gentileschi became established as an painter in the 17th century and why she and other great women artists were disregarded for centuries, until they began to be rediscovered in the 20th century. We'll look at the problems encountered by aspiring women artists over the years and how many of them were helped and encouraged by a father who was also an artist. We'll examine Gentileschi's life and work and what made her stand out as a painter at a time when most artists were men. We'll find out why it was generally assumed that women could not be artists - the lack of equality of opportunity and the social conventions of the times. We'll also look at other women artists from the 16th century until the turn of the 20th century, particularly those whose work was groundbreaking.

Additional information about this course

This is a closed course for existing students on a waiting list for activity C2343483.

Course aim

To look at the life and work of Artemisia Gentileschi – as compensation for the postponement of the National Gallery's exhibition. We'll also look at other women artists who made their mark from the 16th century to the turn of the 20th century.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • You will need your own personal email address so that you’re able to login to the WEA’s digital learning platform: WEA Canvas. You will need to be able to understand how to follow URL links to pages on the internet. If you want to understand more about Canvas please visit:
  • You will need to be able to follow links to join our WEA live video learning platform: WEA Zoom. If you’d like to understand more about our video learning platform, Zoom please visit: and
  • This course is for a group of around 15 students studying in a live video-learning platform conference and an online digital learning environment platform from the comfort of your own home.
  • This is a live lecture delivered by a subject specialist in an online webinar video learning platform. You will need to be able to access the internet on a device with speakers or earphones. There will be opportunities to take part in discussions and chats. If you’d like to know how to use Zoom please visit:
  • The majority of this course is delivered by Zoom through Canvas and there will be opportunity to make observations and ask questions live, but there will be some text material and further chance to comment in the Canvas module.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Summarise the obstacles facing women artists in the 16th to the 19th centuries.
  • Outline some ways in which some women artists, including Gentileschi, produced truly groundbreaking work.
  • Suggest reasons why women artists from the past finally began to be recognised in the 20th century.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas, will be used to provide resources, support lessons and provide learner feedback. Most of the session will be delivered by Zoom. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit:

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be able to contribute during the Zoom presentation and through online discussion in Canvas, and your tutor will provide feedback.

What else do I need to know?

  • What you need: You will need an internet connection, speakers, a microphone and a webcam so that you can use our video learning platform, Zoom. If you’d like to understand more Zoom please visit:
  • You will also need access to the internet outside of your sessions. You could do this using a smart phone, tablet, laptop or a desktop computer (at home or through a library etc.).
  • Nothing else is needed
  • It is preferable if you have a webcam to attend the Zoom session. You will definitely need an internet connection, speakers and a microphone.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

Download full course information sheet

Art History: Artemisia Gentileschi

Is this course right for me? Request more information

If you don't have a pin, please call 0300 303 3464 to enquire about enrolling on this course.


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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