Tag Archives: the passion of artemisia

The Passion of Artemisia by Susan Vreeland

The Passion of Artemisia by Susan Vreeland: A fictionalized look at the life of Artemisia Gentileschi, an Italian Baroque painter in the 17th century. I’d never heard of her before this, and I found looking up her paintings enhanced my enjoyment of the book. The story begins during the latter part of the trial of her rapist, and continues through her times in Florence, Genoa, Rome, Naples, and London. It’s interesting how the rape trial was all but skipped, seeming to imply that we all know that story already, even though it shaped the course of her life for the next several years. I have mixed feelings about this book. I enjoyed it while I was reading it, but taken as a whole I’m a little disappointed. Huge chunks of time are glossed over, few of the characters are given any personality or physical description, and the main plot arc – Artemisia’s relationship with her father – feels like it was shoehorned in. Despite all that, I’m still glad I read it. Reading about painted is often inspiring, and I’ve now been introduced to another talented artist.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

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