The Passion of Artemisia
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The Passion of Artemisia

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3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  9,691 ratings  ·  543 reviews
Recently rediscovered by art historians, and one of the few female post-Renaissance painters to achieve fame during her own era, Artemisia Gentileschi led a remarkably "modern" life. Susan Vreeland tells Artemisia's captivating story, beginning with her public humiliation in a rape trial at the age of eighteen, and continuing through her father's betrayal, her marriage of...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published January 2003 by Penguin Books (first published November 8th 2001)
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Suzanne
I love love love this book. It had been sitting on my shelves for years before I read it, and though I could be sorry I waited so long, somehow I'm glad for the hidden treasure it became. I found the book very interesting and well written. I already knew about Artemisia from a movie I saw, but as usual, the book left a far bigger impression.

The only thing that could improve this book, or at least the cheap Dutch edition I read, is a list of Italian words used and (color) prints of the paintings...more
Simona
Se è vero che da ogni libro impariamo posso dire di aver imparato a conoscere meglio questa donna e questa pittrice che risponde al nome di Artemisia Gentileschi, che fino a poco fa ignoravo.
I miei occhi sono ancora pregni di amore, di fascino, di bellezza, di arte, di sublime di fronte a una donna, una pittrice come Artemisia che non si è mai arresa, anche quando le circostanze giocavano a suo sfavore.
Una pittrice, una donna che, in un mondo ostile alle donne (siamo nel 1612), ha continuato,...more
Lucrezia
Questa storia inizia qualche tempo fa, ero ancora al liceo, e la professoressa di letteratura italiana (adoro quella donna) stava parlando della sindrome di Standhal...
E così per spiegarcela utilizzo i suoi sentimenti di fronte ai quadri di Caravaggio, ma, sopratutto di Artemisia Gentileschi, di cui poi raccontò la triste vicenda.
Qualche tempo dopo in giro per La Feltrinelli a fare regali di natale, lo vedo e me lo regalo.
Che dire, proprio un bel regalo!

Susan Vreeland non la conoscevo ma in quan...more
Chrissie
NO SPOILERS!

Finished: I feel like I was a bit harsh in all my previous criticism. However what I sais IS what I felt at those particular points in the book. I am giving this 4 stars - the ending was superbly done. What can I say other than that I forgive all the previous faults that irritated me. Still, one can be almost proud to NOT be religious! The title is perfect. The Passion of Artemesia is tha passion that moves an artist. Now at the end, I simply have deep respect for this woman, artist,...more
Vivian Valvano
I loved it. I am so happy that one of the LIT women recommended it for our group. Artemisia was a late Renaissance painter from Rome and the first woman elected to the Academia del Arte of Florence. This novel stays very close to many facets of the historical woman's life and career. Vreeland gives her a keen intelligence, an enchanting personality, a depth of emotion to match her prodigious talent, and an effective narrative voice. Vreeland also stays true to much timely historical data. Artemi...more
Darci
Nov 14, 2008 Darci rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: history buffs, art buffs
This book was such an interesting read, especially considering the events are pretty historically accurate, as far as I can tell (which isn't too far, but still...).
Aspects that make me lean toward 5 stars:
- the story line! Such a fascinating story! This makes you turn each page with relish!
- the characters... so many flawed but interesting people!
- the history, although it made me so GLAD I'm not living in the 1600s Italy.
Aspects that back off this review to 4 stars:
- the somewhat choppiness of...more
Krystl Louwagie
It's a high 3 stars because it was written well, and I have to love Artemisia, always have. However, the book focuses a lot on things I'm not interested in, such as marriage and kids and cheating husbands and and forgiveness. I guess maybe I'm still too young and an angry person, but...I think forgiveness is over-rated.
It was a nice look into what might've been Artemisia's life, but I don't have any idea why this is supposed to be a YA novel, other than maybe it's not long and isn't super in dep...more
Claudia
Alzo la testa tra la foresta di quadri ospiti della Galleria Palatina a Palazzo Pitti. Dopo due giorni di immersione totale nell’arte, dopo aver visitato Palazzo Vecchio, gli Uffizi, il Museo della Scienza, ecco che mi trovo in una delle più straordinarie gallerie d’arte del mondo. Alzo la testa e cammino in quelle enormi stanze fresche, dai pavimenti di marmo e con le ampie finestre che si affacciano sul magnifico giardino dei Boboli. Le opere qui conservate sono tantissime, quasi impossibile r...more
Hilary G
Ex Bookworm group review:

It took me rather a long time to read this book. Despite the fact the life of a female painter in what was pretty much a man's world was a great subject, the book failed to engage me somehow. I felt unmoved by Artemisia's suffering in the same way she suspected her daughter Palmira was, and for the same reason, I suspect. It was too far removed from the world I know to have any real meaning for me.

My progress through the book was a series of highs and lows. I liked the d...more
Natalie
This was a great book about a famous female artist, Artemisia Gentilechi, who lived from 1593 to 1653, mainly in Rome, Florence, and Naples. After I read the book I was so intrigued by her that I did some research on the internet and found that even though this book is a novel, that most everything in the book really happened, i.e., the paintings that the book describes, the rape trial, and her friendship with Galileo. I loved looking at the actual paintings online after having read the book.

Ob...more
Rebecca
I first read one of Vreeland's books when I was in middle school (Girl in Hyacinth Blue), and I remember enjoying it very much. I bought this book shortly thereafter, and then approximately 15 years went by, and I finally got around to reading it. I would have loved this book in middle or high school, but reading it now, at approximately 27, the writing and characterization were a bit too simplistic.

One thing Vreeland does do well in this book is get inside the mind of the main character, a fema...more
indiefishsteak
Sep 29, 2007 indiefishsteak rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those who need to forgive
When I started reading this book I had high hopes, since it's a book about a female painter in Rome. I was disappointed after the active beginning that most of it came across as either a textbook on art or on Italian history, neither of which I was expecting. However, as the characters developed more and the timeflow became less irregular (or rather I became more accustomed to the irregularity), the real message of forgiveness and how our lives impact others came across. Overall it was worth the...more
Julie
I liked this one much better than "Girl in Hyacynth Blue". I even think I liked it better than 'Luncheon of the Boating Party' because the story of Artemesia Gentileschi is so interesting and she was such a strong person. I found a website that had all her paintings in chronological order so it definitely added to the story to be able to go and look at the art mentioned in the novel. It also adds greatly to the appreciation of her art to know the story of her rape and subsequent struggles as a w...more
Clif Hostetler
This book is one of my wife's favorite novels. I like it too, but not with the same emotion as my wife. I listened to the audio of the book before my Goodreads.com days, so I didn't write my own review. The following review is from the November PageADay Book Lover's Calendar for 2004.

THE PASSION OF ARTEMISIA, by Susan Vreeland (Viking Press, 2002), These days more and more people recognize the name Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-1653), one of the most talented painters of the Italian Baroque perio...more
Veronica
Figlia d’arte, poiché il padre era il pittore Orazio Gentileschi, Artemisia apprende fin dalla giovinezza le tecniche pittoriche e l’affascinante arte del mescolare i colori. Le prime pagine di questo romanzo vedono l’artista protagonista del processo che dovette subire in seguito all’accusa di stupro nei confronti di un amico di famiglia, Agostino Tassi, anch’egli pittore.
Oltre al dolore per l’orrore subito, Artemisia è così costretta a subire ulteriori umiliazioni, non è considerata vittima d...more
melydia
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 co...more
Stef
If art is a reflection of life, does it only reflect the situation of the subjects or can art also reflect aspects of the artist's personality. In the case of Artemisia Gentileschi, her art has transcended time and captured the minds of her viewers because of the strength of her forms but also her stature as the first female painter accepted into the Florentine Academy of Art (a traditionally male dominated field). Susan Vreeland imagines further the cost of Artemisia's love of painting in her n...more
Rachael W
I finished this book in 2 days. It was a fun and interesting read. I found myself wrapped up in this story of Artemisia Gentileschi. She was a real person and was the first woman to be accepted in the Accademia dell' Arte de Disegno. I found it to be a fascinating story of a woman's determination to follow her passion despite the circumstances she finds herself in and the people she may hurt along the way.
Orsolya
Personally, Artemisia is my favorite female artist. Enduring personal strife and showing the power of a woman, she is definitely a role model. Vreeland's novel provides a power insight into the life of the painter and yet smoothly and dramatically moves the story in an easy-to-read way. Powerful and yet entertaining. A must read!
Heather
I learned quite a bit about Artemisia while in college, having studied her somewhat first in Art History, and then later painting her Susanna figure from one of her Susanna and the Elders for a project in Art class. She is definitely a historical figure worth pondering in terms of her daily life.

I listened to this novel on audiobook, and I believe that I was potentially influenced by my dislike of the reader's voice and intonation of the different characters. I found it extremely grating and dis...more
Laura
This book is based on the true story of Artemisia Gentileschi, a woman ahead of her time since her passion for painting overcame all the turbulences of her private life. Her friendship with Galileo Galilei was remarkable in both ways. She was the first woman to be accepted by the Academia .
Tebafin
I read this book while traveling through Italy... I was able to see some of the art and statues she described, just after I read it. I think I really like this book for that reason, but I think I would really like this book even if I weren't in Italy at the time.
Karen
Apr 08, 2009 Karen rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Those interested in art history and stories about strong women
Recommended to Karen by: my mom
An amazing story about a strong woman who made far more of herself than her culture allowed... During a time when men and husbands gained the money, glory and respect for the family name, but Artemesia need to do more...
Ines
Wonderful story about this historical painter. Feminist, touching, loving. This is an historical romance that resounds with my life in the XXI century. How wonderfully written, the emotions conveyed never stopped amazing me.
Fortunata
Now and then you come across a story that is hard to put down and this is one of them. The incredible story of the Renaissance female painter Artemisia Gentileschi, a genius who achieved success in a man's world.
Pamela Day
Fantastic book about Artemisia Gentileschi, a female Italian Baroque painter - when that was not a socially acceptable thing for women. Vreeland does an amazing job of painting (excuse the pun) what life was like during that time, and what life was like for Artemisia Gentileschi .

Gentileschi is a great role model for those pursuing non-traditional roles, or trying to do their work in the world. She faced the same crap women face today; rape, societal misogyny, and betrayal - and she kept workin...more
Ron Charles
In 1999, Susan Vreeland published a haunting little novel about a Vermeer painting. “Girl in Hyacinth Blue" joined several other fine Vermeer novels that happened to come out at the same time, and it's hung on the paperback bestseller list ever since. Her story began in the present day and moved backward to 17th-century Holland through a series of brief, carefully composed scenes.

The subtle shading of that treatment is, unfortunately, replaced by primary colors in her latest work about another g...more
Jesstme
Vreeland follows Artemisia Gentileschi as she paints her way through a rape and humiliating trial, a failed marriage, and a few career highlights. While historical fiction often uses the past to provide a new lens for the present, Vreeland pushes her imagined Artemisia too far and ends up with a fantasy of a modern woman living in post Renaissance times. It is almost as if Vreeland searched through history for a character based on modern sensibilities, which damages the obvious attempts to place...more
Antonietta
Un bel romanzo storico che ha il merito di far conoscere la figura di una donna straordinaria per il suo tempo, Artemisia Gentileschi, pittrice che seppe affermarsi nonostante l'avversità degli uomini che le furono accanto e divenne la prima donna a far parte dell'Accademia fiorentina. Anche se parecchi particolari storici sono omessi o modificati credo che il racconto colga complessivamente la figura di Artemisia, rendendola viva e vicina a noi nei sentimenti e nella fatica di mantenersi e alle...more
Kara
Jul 16, 2014 Kara rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: school
This book is about the life of Artemisia Gentileschi, a painter living in 17th century Italy. While this book doesn’t cover her life from birth to death, it covers all of the important parts.
It’s a work of fiction, but it seems realistic. Even though I didn’t live in 17th century Italy and am not a fervent painter, I can sympathize with Artemisia. Despite the 400 year time gap, most of her issues are still relevant today. Her victories seems like your own. Her struggles make you want to slap he...more
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Susan Vreeland is an internationally renowned best-selling author and four-time winner of the Theodor Geisel Award for Fiction, the San Diego Book Award’s highest honor. She is known for writing historical fiction on art-related themes, including Girl in Hyacinth Blue, The Passion of Artemisia, Luncheon of the Boating Party, and Clara and Mr. Tiffany. Her books have been translated into 26 languag...more
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“Amar es ponerse al cuello el nudo corredizo de la ilusión; adorar a alguien mientras pareces asfixiarte. Pero incluso el amor no correspondido, el amor fugaz, es mejor que nada.” 3 likes
“I remember being disappointed when Papa had shown me Caravaggio's Judith. She was completely passive while she was sawing through a man's neck. Caravaggio gave all the feeling to the man. Apparently, he couldn't imagine a woman to have a single thought. I wanted to paint her thoughts, if such a thing were possible -- determination and concentration and belief in the absolute necessity of the act. The fate of her people resting on her shoulders...” 1 likes
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