I really enjoyed this book and have recommended it to several people. Artemisia is a real painter in renaissance Italy but the story is fictional. Susan Vreeland really combines the real aspects of Artemisia's life with the fiction beautifully. This book had me researching Artemisia to see her paintings. You can find them on-line by doing a simple search. It is interesting to see the paintings that has been described in the book.
A thought-provoking portrait of Renaissance painter Artemisia Gentileschi. Artemisia is a woman who was brutalized by her father's contemporary, persecuted by the court system, married off to a man she didn't know to save her father's reputation and all the while she still managed to express an amazing amount of painterly talent while bucking the traditonal "man's domain" of art. Very well written with rich, period details and a great deal of emotion. A tale that is not easily forgotten.
I thought this was superbly written. Vreeland's writing style is so beautiful and vivid. I thought there was wonderful character development...the reader goes through life with Artemisia and discovers life truths along with her. I think this is the best novel by Vreeland. An excellent read, I highly recommend it.
This is a great book. It has to do with a woman painter in old-time Italy. She went through a lot in this book. She was raped as a teenager and brought her rapist to trial, where the rapist said she was a whore. After the trial she gets married off by her father to a poor painter with a wandering eye... it was really good.
The first 2/3rds of the book are enthralling and historically exciting descriptions of the Florentine and Genoan art worlds and Artemesia's process in creating works. However, for some reason, in the latter 1/3rd of the book the author abandons this focus and instead turns Artemesia into a sanctimonious celebate, dragging her whiny daughter to more fantastic European art centers, but with nary a description of them or the art she creates there! This mostly ruined the book for me and the predictable, formulaic ending finished it off. There are a lot of exciting elements, but I'd just stop after Artemesia leaves Genoa.
I honestly was completely unaware of the existence of this female painter until I read this book. It is an amazing story of a woman that battled the stereotypes of what or who a painter was during the Renaissance. This book actually prompted me to do a search online and it is amazing the amount of paintings by Artemisia that are in museums and private collections. How could so little be known about the life and talent of someone so brilliant..
I majored in art history in college and taught art for 21 years. I love stories about artists. I first read Susan Vreeland when I found her new book on Tiffany and his female artists at our local library. I liked that book very much so I proceeded to read all the other books she had written about artists and also enjoyed them all very much. I placed orders for three on PBS and am happy to have them in my home library.
Without question, Vreeland has done a lot of research, and it shows. Influenced by her father's art and the controversial Caravaggio, Artemisia's paintings bring to life with vivid talent some of the darker moments from the Bible and historical legend. Absorbing and richly described, The Passion of Artemisia is a beautiful, and sometimes gritty, insight into Baroque Italy's artists, patrons, and even religion. Artemisia's life is visually detailed by Vreeland, as descriptive and thought-provoking as Gentileschi's actual paintings. The end result is a most satisfying read, of an engaging and tangible view into life for a female artist during one of the most influential times of Italian art.
Those who are interested in art, the process of mixing paints and applying to canvas, and how a painting is translated from the mind to the canvas, will truly enjoy this book. If you liked Girl With a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier, then you will most likely enjoy The Passion of Artemisa by Susan Vreeland. I look forward to the next audio production of Susan Vreeland's Girl in Hyacinth Blue, also narrated by Gigi Bermingham, and also focusing on art.
Thoughts on the Audio
This is my first audio book that I actually enjoyed! Many of you know that I've struggled with finding a good one. Vreeland's story of this historical figure felt genuine and thorough, and the usage of the Italian language peppered throughout is wonderfully engaging and kept me enthralled. In fact, this is one of those books where I believe (based on the overall professional production of it) that I would much prefer the audio to the printed version.
Part of my enjoyment of this audio production was Gigi Bermingham's lyrical and fluid narration. When reviewing her background, it's no surprise that she is also registered with the Screen Actors Guild and has done film and television. Effectively maneuvering through the Italian language with an ease of an Italian born in Rome, Bermingham carried the story effortlessly. There was a clear and distinct voice to each of the characters, men included, and never once did I feel distracted. Combined with musical interludes introducing chapters, this audio production was exactly what I needed to feel more comfortable with listening to books.
I loved this book as I am truly fascinated with the subject. One Artemisas's Judiths is here in Detroit and I was lucky enough to see other work when I visited Italy. What a life! Vreeland did an excellent job without going too far in the novelization.
What a beautiful book. I found the story to be compelling and felt a connection to Artemesia as portrayed by Ms. Vreeland. I especially identified with the difficulties and heartache of trying to juggle children and a career, though her struggles were much more difficult than anything I've experienced.
A riveting work of historical fiction about Italian painter, Artemisia. Well-written and intriguing, the book lets us in on the inner workings of Florence's politics as well as the mind of a young Florentine woman.
If you are interested at all in the arts, or in reading a book that is historical in nature but revolves around artists, painters, of a different era, and takes place in Europe, AND tells the story of a female artist, her personal trials, and of the courage she possessed to ignore the conventions of her time and follow her own heart, THEN THIS IS THE STORY FOR YOU ! I can honestly say that I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH !!!
Susan Vreeland is a best selling author and her ability to immerse you in a long ago time and live with her vibrant characters has got to be the season why. My only complaint about this book is that it had to end.
Paints a vivid portrait of 17th century artist, Artemisia , and her struggle to find love, forgiveness and healing through her art. The story is set against the glorious cities of Rome, Florence and Genoa and well narrated. I really liked the historical characters and the special relationship between ARTEMISIA AND HER DAUGHTER.
A great read! I read this book in three evenings. Vreeland's writing will draw you in. A person doesn't have to be an artist to enjoy this book. Artemesia Gentileschi's struggle to find love, forgiveness & wholeness through painting is displayed vividly & with detail. Artemesia persevered to overcome her past from sexual abuse in her young womanhood. he endured public mockery, and a court trial. She learned to paint passionately what others couldn't see/and hadn't painted before. She became an accomplished paintenr during the post-Renaissance Italy. I enjoyed reading this book. Vreeland's writing is excellent..
I enjoyed this book because of how thoroughly it detailed the challenges of a woman who was more talented then her male peers in an era when women were considered so inferior. Artemisia remained true to her gift no matter the pain.
A inspiration to women today to honor their own gifts.
Wonderful book; I'm only giving it up because I want others to read it. Vreeland draws Artemisia as a modern enough woman for the reader to empathize, without forgoing the period details and harsh realities of her era. Read it next to the computer so you can see the paintings she describes as you read.
I enjoyed this book based on the life of artist, Artemisia Gentileschi. almost as much as I loved The Boating Party, also written by Susan Vreeland.
Artemisia was a budding young Renaissance era artist in Italy following in her Father's footsteps when she was raped by her Father's friend who was also an artist. She faced a very confusing and humiliating trial to prove her innocence and the case was dismissed before being resolved. Now, known as a loose woman, she left Rome when she was given in an arranged marriage to another artist in Florence.
The novel is based on true events in Artemisia's early life. Her passion for painting was always her primary priority even as her heart cried out for love, acceptance as woman artist, a stable income for her family and hope for reconciliation with her Father. The novel also offer a good description of Italy during the Renaissance years.