Caravaggio died when Artemisia was seventeen years old. That same year she completed her first known painting, Susanna and the Elders (1610). This painting describes how vulnerable a woman is in a male world.
A few months after she finished her first painting, Artemisia had a traumatic experience. Her father had a tenant named Tuzia living in the upstairs apartment. Her father also had a friend named Agostino Tassi. Tassi was a painter who often came to visit Orazio. Artemisia accused Tassi of raping her in 1612 and she believed that Tuzia had arranged the whole ordeal.
After the rape, Orazio filed a law suit against Tassi. Artemisia was forced to undergo a very humiliating public trial in which she was tortured. She had to have a medical exam to prove that she was a