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Artemisia

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3.78  ·  Rating details ·  264 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
Artemisia Gentileschi, born in 1598, the daughter of an esteemed painter, taught art in Naples and painted the great women of Roman and biblical history. She could neither read nor write, and she was the reviled victim in a public rape trial, rejected by her father, and later abandoned by her husband. Nevertheless, she was one of the first women in modern times to uphold t ...more
Paperback, Second Edition, 224 pages
Published December 1st 2003 by Bison Books (first published 1947)
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Violet wells
There’s a great quote from Susan Sontag in the introduction to this novel which made me think of Hilary Mantel’s stunning achievement in the Cromwell novels: To write well about the past is to write something like fantastic fiction. It is the strangeness of the past, rendered with piercing concreteness, that gives the effect of realism.

Artemisia is in some ways a forerunner of Mantel’s Cromwell novels. The boldness and imaginative intensity with which Banti allows herself to be possessed by Arte
...more
Aubrey
4.5/5
All the forms of an extreme rebellion against a fact of nature seemed preferable to a pain that had not yet been given shape by the words of others, words so simple and commonplace, horribly new and unacceptable.
I think we can all agree that, in reference to the most aged of defined terms of "rhetoric", pathos is both the most volatile and the most disparaged. In contrast to the ethos and the logos, reputation in fact and word in form, there are neither dictionaries to consult nor citatio
...more
FerroN
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: preferiti
Estate 1944. Seduta sulla ghiaia nei giardini di Boboli, Lucia è in lacrime per la devastazione lasciata dal bombardamento tedesco; Firenze sconvolta, la distruzione della sua casa e il manoscritto del racconto “Artemisia”, sepolto sotto le macerie, perduto per sempre.
Sfollati che vagano attoniti, gruppi formati per mutuo soccorso, donne che litigano per l’acqua di una fontanella; ma, all’improvviso, la voce di una giovinetta viene a distrarla dal suo dolore. È la cara (e “forse troppo diletta”)
...more
Susan
Dec 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Anna Banti's novel, 'Artemisia' is an extraordinary novel, both for its subject and for its author. It's a novel that combines a biographical side, the 17th-century artist Artemisia Gentileschi, a woman who insisted that her art was to.be taken seriously. A hugely difficult task at that time. Banti, herself an art historian, knows the work inside out. Her descriptions of the paintings are marvellous. I can see them, even without the paintings in front of me. And while I know some of these painti ...more
Roger Brunyate
A Difficult Knot to Untie

This book was recommended to me by someone who read it in Italian, and at first I tried to do the same. But it seemed strangely difficult, even though I use the language often in my operatic work, so after 50 pages I switched to this translation by Shirley D'Ardia Caracciolo. Certainly, this solved the problem of Anna Banti's unusually large vocabulary, although Caracciolo's translation seems dense and dull by comparison, conveying the sense but failing to find an equiva
...more
Charlotte Dickens
Oct 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
This Artemisia novel is the third I have read--the others were several years ago. Anna Banti's novel is full of descriptive passages and narrative interspersed with very little dialogue. It was not what I would call a page-turner, but the descriptions were powerful and compelling. It was compelling in the sense that it made me think about her character, but I needed to do it a few pages at a time. This accounts for the long time I took to finish it.

I understand that not a lot of historical fact
...more
Artemisia
Jan 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biografie
La cosa che più mi fa rabbia* è non averlo potuto leggere in originale: solitamente si acquista un libro in inglese per leggerlo in anteprima, per esercitare la lingua, o altro. Questa volta è successo l'inaspettato. Ho dovuto leggerlo in inglese, perché la Bompiani si ostina a non ripubblicare l'Artemisia della Banti e la Mondadori non ne vuole sapere di raccogliere la sua opera omnia nei Meridiani. E non riesco nemmeno ad immaginare a quanto possa essere devastante questo libro in italiano. No ...more
Jeanette
Jan 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Interesting read but you need to peel it and peel it before you get the logistics of narrator and occurrence. Difficult read and mighty personality which captures the crux of her dilemma and the time she lived in. Far beyond the degree to accuracy of most historical fiction. I can only imagine the courage it took to voice her attack and also to walk a path to her vocation as an artist.
Lauracio
Mar 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: italiani, romanzi
Libro scritto in modo aulico e meraviglioso. Troppo poco conosciuto, dovrebbe essere letto in Italia, porca miseria, dovrebbero conoscerla in tanti questa scrittura ricca, complessa.
Detto questo.
Io l'ho odiato. Non so perché.
Ho lottato per finirlo.
Hesper
Mar 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Had to hurry through the last third of this; due without renewal option. Is it biography? Is it historical fiction? It blends the two, transcends them, becomes a sort of impressionistic psychological portrait reconstituted out of one part history and nine parts imagination.

The author occasionally breaks through the narrative and holds conversations with her subject—these interludes were simultaneously absorbing and distracting. There are sharp literary chops on display, but Artemisia the book s
...more
Fernando Jimenez
Jan 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anna Banti perdió el manuscrito de su novela en los bombardeos de Florencia de 1944. Entonces se propuso no escribir el mismo libro, sino meditar sobre el mismo y dialogar con Artemisia Gentileschi en una biografía que en realidad es un experimento en forma de introspección psicológica y de estudio de las mentalidades del Barroco, pero también de una mujer avanzada a su época pero inmersa en ella, y no tanto una pura reconstrucción histórica. El estilo de Banti está lleno de imágenes únicas y re ...more
Didi
Nov 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: arte
Si esperabas una biografía divulgativa, una novela que fuera una biografía... incluso una novela histórica al uso, te llevarás una decepción y te sentirás confuso. Por eso es tan importante leer la introducción de Susan Sontag. Es una rememoración poética, profundamente subjetiva, casi como un mal sueño continuo, de lo que sintió la pintora en cada supuesto momento de su vida, elaborado por la escritora mientras dialoga con el fantasma de Artemisia huyendo en su ciudad, destruida por las bombas ...more
Ludovica
May 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary-lit
Un libro difficile e amaro, che sono contenta di aver cercato in lungo e in largo (è praticamente introvabile anche qui in Italia!).
Questa "biografia" tutta particolare rende evidente il legame incredibile instauratosi tra l'autrice Anna Banti e la straordinaria pittrice Artemisia; in uno sforzo di memoria e attraverso una prosa composita, mutevole, a tratti indomabile, Banti simula le pennellate ambiziose, sdegnose, di sfida che più di tre secoli prima lanciava Artemisia, donna pittrice che ha
...more
Elena Consuelo
Nov 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Storia senza singhiozzi, si legge con l'impeto di un mare in burrasca: infatti, il romanzo non è suddiviso in capitoli, non vi è il tempo di riprendere fiato. D'altronde tutto ciò rispecchia la vita di Artemisia: una serie di eventi senza tempo, di ostacoli che paiono insormontabili ma che, con una tenacia esemplare, Artemisia si lascia alle spalle.
Romanzo molto attuale nonostante il lessico ricercato: affermare se stesse in un mondo dove ancora oggi le donne sono costantemente sottovalutate.
Mi
...more
Vavinia
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Cercavo una biografia di Artemisia Gentileschi che mi permettesse di immergermi nella vita di questa grande pittrice. Ma il testo di Banti è molto lontano da qualsiasi comune biografia che ha meramente un fine di cronaca, di racconto di un vissuto. Artemisia di Anna Banti è una poesia in prosa. Non è di certo una lettura leggera o scorrevole ma è un vero e proprio gioiellino della letteratura italiana. Non conoscevo questa grande scrittrice e sono contenta di aver scovato questa personalità1
Shelley
If you want to read this, make sure you get an edition that has an introduction by Susan Sontag. Without that introduction, I would have been very confused and overwhelmed by the writing of the main text.

Kobe Bryant
Jan 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Cool idea for a book and some nice descriptions, even through the translation
Vicki Kondelik
Jul 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Anna Banti’s novel Artemisia tells the story of the painter Artemisia Gentileschi, who was one of the first women to have a successful career as an artist. The daughter of the painter Orazio Gentileschi, who was a friend of Caravaggio, Artemisia was born in Rome in 1593, and showed great promise as an artist from an early age. She was raped by her father’s assistant Agostino Tassi and took her rapist to court, which did not happen very often at the time, and was tortured to confirm her story. Ta ...more
Edith
Apr 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Her draft of Artemisia’s biography destroyed in a devastating action of German troops retreating from Florence in 1944, Anna Banti begins to rewrite her novel with the words “Don’t cry” to console herself as well as her heroine Artemisia Gentileschi. During the years of work on the book the Renaissance painter has become so dear to the writer that three centuries later she can almost feel her reassuring presence and guidance. With the burden of her own despair in the face of (luckily past) disas ...more
Tozette
Mar 26, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical, biography
Artemisia is a woman about whom very little is now known; what is known has been amended for the sake of the isolation and poignancy we get in the text. Is it biography? Is it fiction? We just don't know.

Is it good? Yeah, it actually kind of is.

This is largely the story of the conflict inherent in being a woman working in a man's role. There's a really palpable tension that Artemisia feels between her performance of feminine gender norms - her role as a daughter, mother, wife - and her work as
...more
Wendy
Mar 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Another superb historical novel that breaks with the traditional model. Banti was an art historian who started this book during WWII. She lost the first draft when her home was bombed and rewrote it as a resuscitation of two lives, her own and her protagonist's, not to be silenced by war. Artemisia is an utterly believable creation of a stunning painter influenced by Caravaggio who converted his violence into reinterpretations of such characters as Judith and Susanna, that fully channel her own ...more
Francesca
Nov 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book and I didn't expect to. I struggled with the narration at first; I wasn't sure who was talking to who and who was telling the story, but after 100 pages or so, I figured it out and became absorbed by the story.
Banti has a really interesting style, something I don't think I've ever come across before. She concentrates very much on the inner monologue; the thoughts and feelings about everything that happens rather than the events themselves. Artemisia is an excellent pro
...more
Irene Rosignoli
Sep 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Non è fiction, non è storia, non è biografia: Artemisia è un libro difficilissimo da inquadrare. Si tratta di una lunga conversazione immaginaria mista a immedesimazione psicologica della Banti con il personaggio storico di Artemisia. Non esistono così tante fonti storiche che descrivano questa donna al punto da giustificare una tale esplorazione psicologica; incredibile quindi il lavoro dell'autrice nel ricostruire questa figura mettendoci del suo e rendendola un suo doppio, ma anche un simbolo ...more
Meg Morley
Interesting, and very different from the historical novels I usually read. Because the author is also exploring her feelings about her writing process, her relationship to her characters, and the calamity of losing the first version in a bombing, it's very distant. You can't get inside the character's head and escape into her world. Well written, though mysterious, especially when it comes to the details of the artist's life and separating history from art.
Cynthia
Jan 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
A biography in novel form about Artemisia Gentileschi, the Renaissance painter who survived being put on trial following her rape to work long and productively for many years in Naples and elsewhere. Banti's first draft of this novel was destroyed during the fighting in WWII, so that loss becomes part of the story as her subject alternately haunts and eludes her.
Trina
Dec 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: rome-italy
This is a fascinating novel in which the protagonist and author are interwoven in complicated ways. It's not so much a factual biography of Artemisia Gentilleschi as a contemplation of what kind of woman she was.
Leonardo
Jan 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Una scrittrice del '900 ed una pittrice del '600 giocano a rincorrersi, per parlare di donne d'arte e dell'arte delle donne.
Stephanie Snyder
Dec 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
great read if you like historical novels

This would make a lovely addition to anyone's bookshelf.
Malcolm
Jul 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Artemisia Gentileschi is one of the great renaissance artists, and wonderfully humanised by Banti who rewrote the novel after it was destroyed in a bombing raid on Florence in 1944. Quite beautiful.
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Anna Banti is the pseudonym of Lucia Lopresti, an Italian biographer, critic, and author of fiction. Much of her fiction has a central theme of women's struggles for equal opportunity.

Banti graduated from the University of Rome. She directed the literary section of the magazine Paragone and took on direction of the art section after the death of her husband, famous art critic Roberto Longhi.

Her m
...more
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“There was nothing on any of the canvasses that she would have liked to hide or conceal, nor was she ashamed of being thus exposed through her work, good or bad though it might be, the essence, the unique flavour of days when she had been happily engrossed in recreating a face or a garment, in inventing an effective light, in applying an expressive glaze.” 1 likes
“They’ll just see who Artemisia is,” she says. Her pride, girlish and slightly arrogant, comes now to comfort her, a black, childlike angel, innocent and strong, that slowly returns to watch over her. It is not familiar with the humility, the softness, the cautious, touchy uncertainty of the female character; nothing holds the wind back from its wings. It can only be stopped by a feeling of affectionate awe if Artemisia Gentileschi thinks of her father. But Orazio’s difficult love has been removed from her and its great value is as a sword that slays all weakness, the very image of which is enough to pierce through. She must wean herself from it if she does not want to die of grief.” 0 likes
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