Artemisia Gentileschi’s first known work, Susanna and the Elders, re-tells chapter 13 of the Book of Daniel, a popular theme in Renaissance and Baroque painting. In the story, a Hebrew girl Susanna is spied on while bathing by lecherous elders. The creeps attempt to blackmail her for sex, and when she refuses she’s put on trial for their false claims. Susanna is eventually vindicated and the elders executed for their crime.
Sexual violence was already a theme for Gentileschi, and horrifyingly, a year after painting this scene, Gentileschi herself was raped by her tutor, Agostino Tassi. Tassi was put on trial for taking her virginity and refusing to marry her after ‘stealing her virtue’ and was sentenced to a year in prison he would never serve. Susanna eventually found justice, and Gentileschi did not. Her future work was dedicated to depicting justice against violent men in the most brutal fashion.
Reed Enger, "Susanna and the Elders," in Obelisk Art History, Published January 31, 2016; last modified November 08, 2022, http://www.arthistoryproject.com/artists/artemisia-gentileschi/susanna-and-the-elders/.