Synopses & Reviews
In her luminous debut novel, Susan Vreeland told the story of a Vermeer painting that transformed the lives of its many owners with its beauty. Now, in her stunning new novel, she tells the story of a painter who transformed Renaissance Italy with the beauty of her work. The Passion of Artemisia
chronicles the extraordinary life of Artemisia Gentileschi, the first woman to make a significant contribution to art history.
At age eighteen, Artemisia Gentileschi finds herself humiliated in papal court for publicly accusing the man who raped her-Agostino Tassi, her painting teacher. When even her father does not stand up for her, she knows she cannot stay in Rome and begs to have a marriage arranged for her. Her new husband, an artist named Pietro Stiatessi, takes her to his native Florence, where her talent for painting blossoms and she becomes the first woman to be elected to the Accademia dell'Arte. But marriage clashes with Artemisia's newfound fame as a painter, and she begins a lifelong search to reconcile painting and motherhood, passion and genius.
Set against the glorious backdrops of Rome, Florence, and Genoa, peopled with historical characters such as Cosimo de' Medici and Galileo and filled with the details of the life of a Renaissance painter, The Passion of Artemisia is the story of Gentileschi's struggle to find love, forgiveness, and wholeness through her art. At once a dramatic tale of love and a moving father-daughter story, it is the portrait of an astonishing woman that will captivate lovers of Gentileschi's paintings and anyone interested in the life of a woman who ignored the conventions of her day and dared to follow her heart.
"The Passion of Artemisia is both an entertaining and thought-provoking portrait of this admirable pioneering spirit. Susan Vreeland has a natural sympathy for her subject and is adept at portraying human bonds strained by artistic demands. The novel sparkles without being shallow, portrays shadows without being melancholy, and gives us a privileged glimpse into an extraordinary woman's soul." Margartet George
Vreeland's unsentimental prose turns the factual Artemisia into a fictional heroine you won't soon forget. (People) Vreeland has burrowed deeply into the mind of the artist and produced a vivid cast of female characters. (Vogue)
From the bestselling author of Girl in Hyacinth Blue comes an exquisite portrait of the life of one of the most remarkable female painters in history.
About the Author
Susan Vreeland is the author of the bestseller Girl in Hyacinth Blue. Her short fiction has appeared in journals such as The Missouri Review, New England Review, Calyx, and Alaska Quarterly Review.