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The Passion of Artemisia: A Novel by Susan…
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The Passion of Artemisia: A Novel (original 2002; edition 2002)

by Susan Vreeland

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1,584346,805 (3.74)53
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Title:The Passion of Artemisia: A Novel
Authors:Susan Vreeland
Info:Penguin Books (2002), Edition: Presumed to be 1st as edition is unstated, Paperback, 352 pages
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The Passion of Artemisia by Susan Vreeland (2002)

  1. 21
    Girl in hyacinth blue by Susan Vreeland (conceptDawg)
  2. 00
    Artemisia by Anna Banti (Nickelini)
    Nickelini: Artemisia by Italian author Anna Banti is a critically acclaimed novel about the artist
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English (31)  Italian (2)  Spanish (1)  All languages (34)
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
This struck me as a very feminist novel. It was more about feminism and the relationships amongst women than it is a historical account of a female painter. ( )
  bookishblond | Oct 24, 2018 |
I think this may be more appreciated by someone who has more interest in the process of art and painting. I was more interested in the life and times of Artemisia, and there wasn't as much of that to this story as I would have liked. Also, the author has made quite a few major changes to historical fact regarding her life, while not as much as some popular historical fiction authors, more than I care for personally. I almost gave this 2 stars, except for a couple of things. One was the detailed account of the rape trial. Very troubling to listen too (audiobook), but that was the way things were for women back then. Second were the interactions between Artemisia and Galileo, which appears to be well documented fact. ( )
  catzkc | Mar 23, 2018 |
I enjoyed this book more than I expected to--I picked it up at a used book sale simply because Vreeland's [b:Girl in Hyacinth Blue|321577|Girl in Hyacinth Blue|Susan Vreeland|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1364742503s/321577.jpg|19815] is one of my favorite books.

But what Girl has is clearly inimitable. The painting s the main character, the hops through time. It's an unusual little book, and it is wonderful.

Artemesia is more traditional historical fiction. It is certainly readable and interesting, and I had never heard of Artemesia Gentileschi before picking up this book. But historical fiction that distorts the little that is known to make for a better story just bugs me. In this case, Vreeland readily admits (in the book club section at the back)to leaving out her brothers and her sons. So much of this story is wrapped around her being an only child, and raising an only child, and both being daughters. But that's not true. So why take a real person to write about, if the few bits of knowledge are distorted? ( )
  Dreesie | Apr 12, 2016 |
This is a great story, although some of our book-club members felt the writing wasn't quite up to par.

This is a fictionalized biography of Artemisia Genteleschi, the first woman to be admitted to the Academia del Arte in Florence - a 17th-century artist who specialized in portraits of strong women from the Bible or mythology. It offers a fascinating glimpse of Italy at the time. It is in turns passionate, tender, disturbing, and frustrating; on a par with [Girl with a Pearl Earring]. ( )
  BookConcierge | Feb 10, 2016 |
I found this portrayal of a an artist's life fascinating. It held me by the descriptive nature of the author. As you may know Artemisia was a painter and sometimes it can be difficult to describe a canvas of colors and brush strokes to a reader but Vreeland did it very well.

I am glad I read this book and I will look for more historical fiction by Susan Vreeland in the future. ( )
  rosetyper9 | Nov 12, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
About suffering they were never wrong,
The Old Masters: how well they understood
Its human position; how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window
or just walking dully along.

-W. H. Auden
“Musee des Beaux Arts,” 1940
Dedication
To Kip, amore mio, for his understanding
First words
My father walked beside me to give me courage, his palm touching gently the back laces of my bodice.
Quotations
I closed my eyes and breathed slower to let the new truth settle and find a spot to live in me – how hard the world was going to make me.
“I long to know everything you’ve seen in Florence – every painting and sculpture, every church, piazza, and tower, everything in sunlight, shadow, even rain. If you could spare the time and if it would please you, put your artist’s eyes into words.”
“Where art and science touch is the realm of the imagination, the place where original ideas are born, the place where both of us are most alive.”
I could study this Sabine woman who lived nineteen centuries ago and feel empathy for her, but now her struggle did not devastate me, did not make me wince as I had the first time I’d seen her. I had walked by this sculpture a thousand times on my way to the vegetable market and I had not become rigid with anger. Those atrocities against women had not ceased to exist in the world, but life marches on. Onions and white beans must still be bought.
At home I untied the string and tipped out the earring – Graziela’s pearl drop. On a scrap of paper edged with Graziela’s leafy tendrils were the words, “Sell the pair. Buy paint.” A warm wave passed through me. I touched the earring to my lips and closed my eyes, sure that I had never understood love till now.
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Book description
A historical novel based on post-Italian Renaissance period where a female expresses herself as the artist and painter.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0142001821, Paperback)

Like her bestselling debut, Girl in Hyacinth Blue, Susan Vreeland's second novel, The Passion of Artemisia, traces a particular painting through time: in this case, the post-Renaissance painter Artemisia Gentileschi's violent masterpiece, "Judith." Although the novel purports to cover the life of the painter, the painting serves as a touchstone, foreshadowing Artemisia's rape by Agostino Tassi, an assistant in her father's painting studio in Rome; the well-documented (and humiliating) trial that followed; the early days of her hastily arranged marriage; and her eventual triumph as the first woman elected to the Accademia dell' Arte in Florence. Although Vreeland makes a bit free with her characters (which she admits in her introduction), attributing some decidedly modern attitudes to people who would not have thought that way at the time, her book is beautifully researched and rich with casual detail of clothing, interiors, and street life. She deftly works history and politics into the background of her canvas, keeping her focus on Artemisia and her family. Beyond the paintings Artemisia left behind, Vreeland's vision may be as close as we can come to understanding the anger and ambition that kept this talented woman at the doors of the Accademia, demanding entrance, in a time when respectable women rarely left their homes. --Regina Marler

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:59 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

"At age eighteen, Artemisia Gentileschi finds herself humiliated in papal court for publicly accusing her painting teacher, Agostino Tassi, of raping her. When even her father does not stand up for her and she realizes that she will never live down her reputation as a loose woman if she stays in Rome, she begs to have a marriage arranged for her. Her new husband, an artist named Pietro Stiattesi, takes her to his native Florence, where their life together offers the promise of love and family. Here Artemisia's talent for painting blossoms and she becomes the first woman elected to the Accademia dell' Arte. But marriage clashes with her newfound fame as a painter, and she begins a lifelong search to reconcile painting and motherhood, passion and genius."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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HighBridge Audio

An edition of this book was published by HighBridge Audio.

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HighBridge

An edition of this book was published by HighBridge.

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