Date of Award

May 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


School of Computing

Committee Member

Eric Patterson

Committee Member

Insun Kwon

Committee Member

Andrea Feeser


Artemisia Gentileschi is one of the most renowned female artists of her time, best known for her Baroque style paintings of religious narratives.Judith Beheading Holofernes, originally painted by Gentileschi in 1620-21, now hangs permanently in the Uffizi Gallery of Florence, Italy, the birthplace of the Renaissance. Many Renaissance artists, such as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, were dedicated to the arts and sciences. For the first time, artists used scientific techniques to replicate real life accurately, including knowledge of linear perspective and human anatomy. As pointed out in the Hockney-Falco thesis, artists used new inventions like the camera-obscura to achieve this realistic replication of perspective. In a continuation of the Renaissance period, the Baroque era utilized these new discoveries to push new boundaries. In addition to accurate human anatomy and perspective, the Baroque style utilized incredibly dynamic posing and dramatic lighting to articulate highly emotional religious narratives. Artemisia Gentileschi’s works were examples of this technique.

An avid follower of Caravaggio, she employed tenebrism and dynamic posing to create some of the most famous pieces of the Baroque period.

Through the re-creation of Judith Beheading Holofernes in a real-time rendering system, this thesis explores the impact of these Renaissance-era techniques on present day digital art. Much like early 17th-century European artists, this project utilizes new technological advancements to attempt a hyper-realistic replication of Judith’s biblical narrative. These advancements include techniques for virtual humans such as the Meet Mike project and the usage of 3D scanned geometry and textures. Together these modern tools create a different type of artwork that not only challenges the way in which we engage with the visual arts, but also evokes a powerful emotional response from this religious narrative.



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