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The Passion of Artemisia: A Novel Paperback – Deckle Edge, December 31, 2002
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Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Together, Pietro and Artemisia indulge in the art of painting, but unfortunately for Pietro, it is Artemisia who gets the most recognition, first with a commission from the nephew of the famous Michelangelo, and later from Cosimo de Medici. Though Artemisia and Pietro have a daughter, Palmira, Pietro becomes resentful when Artemisia gains admission to the Accademia dell� Arte del Disegno before he does.
The all-encompassing descriptive prose leads the reader back into seventeenth century Italy, following Artemisia and her daughter as they journey to Genoa, Venice, and come full circle back to Rome. With the incredible artistic backdrop of the timeless treasures of these cities, the author often makes a religious connection to the magnificent works depicted there.
And for anyone who ever wanted an eyewitness view into an artist�s soul, this novel is the perfect venue. Even a non-artist can begin to understand the depth of emotion and lifetime experiences that go into an artist�s creativity. Most enduring though, is Artemisia�s triumph in a time when women were treated in a most inferior manner.
Set in the 17th century, the story opens with Artemisia having been raped by her father's assistant, Agostino Tassi. Her father has accused him of this rape and sets into motion a trial that will continue to haunt Artemisia for the rest of her days. The rapist is released and Artemisia, her reputation ruined, is forced into an arranged marriage.
She begins to paint her collection, most notably her "Judith" collection. Her art becomes famous with the most renowned people of her day. She portrays the women in her paintings as strong and independent, retribution being the key. I found Vreeland's account of how the paintings came about and why to be extremely interesting. Artemisia soon becomes the first woman to be accepted into the Academy of Sciences in Florence and this causes a rift in her marriage.
The people along the way are also wonderful characters brought to life, especially Graziela who is wise beyond her years and helps to put things into perspective for Artemisia. Her passion for painting brought her the utmost joy and pain. A lesson not lost on Artemisia.
I was so fascinated by Artemisia's story that I looked on the internet for her paintings and was not disappointed. I discovered a few inconsistencies in the story and the real life of this painter, but overall I think the book is worth the read.
Another book similar in theme to this one is Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier.
"Girl In Hyacinth Blue" sparkled. It was clever, intelligent -- a little gem. "The Passion of Artemisia," on the other hand, is entertaining (the Italian words scattered throughout the novel were just plain fun: bene, brava, tesoro, poverina, la dolce vita). It depicts details from seventeenth century Italy marvelously (the reason for the three star rating), but ultimately, it does not deliver the dramatic tale about a woman who ignored the social mores of her time.
If you enjoy fiction published about art, history, and the lives of women consider reading: "Tulip Fever" by Deborah Moggach and "Girl With A Pearl Earring" by Tracy Chevalier.
What I can't figure out is why would someone take a really rich and lively story and water it down for a series of vignettes, when the true story is one ripping read? Although Lapierre entitles her work "A Novel", she refers to her primary sources -- and she expounds on the manners of the day -- to make a vibrant portrait. I felt more than disappointed by this version when I read Lapierre's - I felt betrayed. This is one author who will not get a second chance.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I never realized how emotionally charged her paintings were. She (Artemesia) is so inspiring to anyone who is passionate about what they do!Published 7 months ago by Maggie Sallusti
I love the narrative art history format. Vreeland's books have made more than a few of my students readers AND realize they love art.Published 10 months ago by Humanities Prof.
The Passion of Artemisia by Susan Vreeland
My Rating: 5/5 stars
As some of you know, I am an Art Historian in my “real” life... Read more
Based in n a true story but read like a novel. If you love history and art this was filled with passion and informationPublished 11 months ago by Joan Krim
Great book - emotional ups and downs. Loved the art references and city explorations. Loved the passion and determination of this woman; she's not perfect but her strong will and... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Brenda A Allen