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This historical novel is based on fact and reveals the world of Artemisia Gentileschi, the first female artist admitted to the Academy in Florence.
Susan Vreeland made her mark with The Girl in Hyacinth Blue, and stands with Tracy Chevalier in the artist-as-protagonist genre.
This book was so intriguing I visited Gentileschi's exhibit in NYC when was there.
Set against the lush tapestry of Renaissance Rome, this is a mesmerizing tale of love, art, and most notably, the love of art. After Artemisia Gentileschi, a promising young painter, is raped by her instructor, a papal court orders her torture and her father betrays her. Shamed but not vanquished, she asks her harsh parent to arrange her marriage to another painter and, thus vindicated in the eyes of society and the church, she begins a new life. But not a happy one.
Artemisia's visceral passion to create art—specifically, to depict on canvas the kind of strong heroine she herself has become—threatens to overwhelm her roles as wife and daughter. Her struggle to reconcile her conflicting passions lies at the heart of Artemisia's story, ingeniously crafted by Susan Vreeland, whose gift of language is matched by her uncanny ability to evoke a distant time and place.
Vreeland's previous novel, the best-selling Girl in Hyacinth Blue, dazzled the critics and was voted a Book Sense Book of the Year finalist. Once again bringing the visual arts to vivid life, The Passion of Artemisia is a glowing, subtly delineated portrait of a remarkable woman—the first to make a significant contribution to art history.
About the Author
GIGI BERMINGHAM is an accomplished stage and television actress, with several audiobooks to her credit.
SUSAN VREELAND grew up in California and taught high-school English in the San Diego school system for 30 years. She wrote a widely used student-writing handbook titled What English Teachers Want, as well as two previous novels. Her short fiction has appeard in several literary journals, and she received Inkwell Magazine's Grand Prize for Fiction in 1999. She lives in San Diego.