* 1563 Pisa
† 1639 London
Orazio Gentileschi, father of the even more famous Artemisia Gentileschi, is regarded one of the most prominent Caravaggisti.
Orazio Gentilesche was born by the name of Orazio Lomi at Pisa in 1563. He was born into a family of artists, his father was the goldsmith Giovanni Battista di Bartolomeo Lomi, his brother also became a painter. Presumably, Orazio Gentileschi received first training in arts from his father.
After his father’s death (1575), possibly only around 1576/78, Orazio Gentileschi moved to his maternal uncle to Rome, and accepted his family name "Gentileschi". It is most likely that Orazio Gentileschi served a painter’s apprenticeship in Rome.
As of 1598/99 Orazio Gentileschi appeared as painter in Rome. After he had initially participated in decoration projects in a mannerist style, he encountered the revolutionarily new ideas of Caravaggioin 1605. Orazio Gentileschi was enthusiastic about him and adapted his crude Realism and the strong lighting in Caravaggio’s image worlds. During this time the painter was also influenced by Adam Elsheimer’s landscape style.
Up until 1620 Orazio Gentileschi, who was also known by his latinized name Horatius Gentilescius, was a remarkably prolific Caravaggisti. Next to making works on canvas, he also worked in large decoration projects and made frescoes, for instance for the Casino delle Muse of cardinal Scipione Borghese.
Around 1622 Orazio Gentileschi moved to Genoa, where he was in service of the duke of Savoy, before he went on to Paris in 1624. Orazio Gentileschi Lomi followed an invitation from no lesser than Maria de´ Medici. From Paris Orazio Gentileschi followed an invitation from the duke of Buckingham to London in 1626, where he was appointed court painter by Charles I. ("Her Majesty’s Portray Painter ") in 1629. In London Orazio Gentileschi died in 1639.