“The Passion of Artemesia” was the third book that I’ve read by writer and professor Susan Vreeland. I absolutely love her work! This particular novel follows the life of Baroque painter Artemesia Gentileschi from her rape trial onwards. Vreeland describes the highs and lows of Artemesia’s life as a painter, wife, and mother at a time when being a woman had severe limitations (especially a woman with a profession and ESPECIALLY when that woman lost her virginity outside of wedlock).
The story follows Artemesia’s life as she traveled from Rome to Florence to Venice, and Naples and elsewhere, all the way describing works of art that she sees that makes me all the more excited to travel to Italy this fall!
From an art historian’s perspective, I wish there was more in the book about her art and her processes. That said, I do feel like I have a better understanding of her life and the events taking place around her that could have shaped her art. I wouldn’t recommend this book for research, but it’s a fun beach read.