A recently discovered Artemisia Gentileschi painting depicting the Roman heroine Lucretia will hit the auction block on November 13th. According to Paris auction house Artcurial, the painting has been in the same private collection in Lyon for the past 40 years. Gentileschi created the painting, titled Lucrèce (Lucretia), in the 1630s; it is estimated to sell for between €600,000 and €800,000 ($656,000–$875,000).
In a statement, Matthieu Fournier, director of Artcurial’s Old Master and 19th century department, said:
It is a privilege to discover a subject like this, painted by an artist as legendary as Artemisia Gentileschi. The exceptional state of preservation of this painting makes it a unique work.
Another depiction of Lucretia by Gentileschi sold at auction for €1.9 million ($2.2 million) last October, more than doubling its high estimate of €700,000 ($813,000). The Baroque painter is particularly well known for depicting female protagonists from biblical and mythological stories, most famously in Judith Slaying Holofernes (ca. 1620). Lucretia is a similarly strong figure, whose rape by an Etruscan king and subsequent suicide in protest of her innocence helped spark the revolution that led to the founding of the Roman Republic. Aside from the painting sold last October and the one to be sold this November, two further depictions of the heroine attributed to Gentileschi are in the Etro Collection in Milan and the Museo de Capodimonte in Naples.
Gentileschi is perhaps the most well-known female Italian Baroque painter, and her recent surge in the art market has coincided with the #MeToo movement. Last year, she became the first female artist in 27 years to enter the collection of London’s National Gallery when the institution acquired her Self Portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria (ca. 1615–17) for £3.6 million ($4.7 million). The National Gallery will hold a major exhibition of her work next year.