Mysterious 17th century painting identified!

A mysterious 17th century painting from the Sursock Palace was damaged in an explosion in Beirut. It has now been identified as a work created by Italian Baroque artist, Artemisia Gentileschi!


In August 2020, there was a massive explosion in Beirut, Lebanon. This explosion killed 145 people and injured thousands.

In addition to the loss of life, many, many buildings were damaged, including the Sursock Palace and Museum, which is the building we’re talking about today.

Much of the palace was destroyed in this explosion and, amongst the wreckage, was this 17th century mystery painting. This piece had extensive damage, but this actually worked out because this was sent to be restored at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

When restoration experts at the Getty were working on it, they were like, “Holy shit, this was made by Artemisia Gentileschi!”

This particular painting depicts the Myth of Omphale and Hercules.

It’s supposed to take until 2024 to complete the restoration. Once it’s finished, though, it’ll be exhibited at the Getty and will hang near another recently identified Gentileschi work titled, “Lucretia.”

🎧 Listen to the full episode here.

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