California Italian Studies
Anna Banti Stages Artemisia Gentileschi: Feminist Intersections of Painting and Theater
- Author(s): Streifer, Monica L
- et al.
This article explores how Anna Banti recasts Artemisia Gentileschi on the modern Italian stage. In her only dramatic work, Corte Savella (1960), Banti harnesses the aesthetic power of Gentileschi's paintings to influence both the characters within the play and her twentieth-century audience beyond the fourth wall. By using Gentileschi’s paintings to drive her play thematically, aesthetically, and as a plot device, Banti provides a new interpretation of Gentileschi's artistic oeuvre, which prior to the early twentieth century had been largely dismissed. I argue that the way in which Banti interweaves Gentileschi’s paintings with the unfolding the play provides a unique platform for a pioneering reinterpretation of her artistic corpus from a feminist perspective, as well as new ways of understanding the intermedial intersections of visual and performing arts.