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Publisher's Summary

At age 18, Artemisia Gentileschi finds herself humiliated in papal court for publicly accusing her painting teacher of rape. When even her father does not stand up for her, she realizes that her reputation in Rome is ruined, and she begs to have a marriage arranged for her. Her husband takes her to Florence, where their life together offers the promise of love and family. Artemisia's painting talent blossoms and she becomes the first woman elected to the Accademia dell' Arte. But marriage clashes with her newfound fame, and she begins a lifelong search to reconcile painting and motherhood, passion and genius.

Set against the glorious backdrops of Rome, Florence, and Genoa, and Naples, peopled with historical characters and filled with the details of the life of a 17th-century painter, The Passion of Artemisia is the story of Gentileschi's struggle to find love, forgiveness, and wholeness through her art.

©2002 Susan Vreeland (P)2002 HighBridge Company

Critic Reviews

"The Passion of Artemisia offers a vivid portrait of a complex female artist who doggedly pursues her passion despite seemingly overwhelming obstacles." (Booklist)
"Vreeland's remarkable ability...makes this novel an accomplished work of art." (San Francisco Chronicle)

What listeners say about The Passion of Artemisia

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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story and narration

It’s always tricky reading a novel based loosely on historical events.
I think here the author again successfully creates a captivating story with full of fascinating descriptions of its time and space.
I liked it a lot.

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    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for L. Worthington
  • L. Worthington
  • 04-01-2004

Not exactly a biography

The author takes events and information about Artemisia and develops her own story about Artemisia's life. While very interesting, one must remember that is is fictional based on a real character. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed listening to this book immensly and wanted to believe it to be true. I'll definitely listen to it again.

9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Stephanie
  • 18-01-2004

Engrossing

No, it wasn't a biography, but the story was beautiful and I think very realistic. I think that the emotions expressed by the narrator went along very well with the book, and the story was engrossing and poignant.

5 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Susan
  • 12-09-2003

Listen to the sample first

My rating is for this as an audiobook. I can't make any judgment about the work itself, because I couldn't listen past the first couple of hours. The narration is way over the top. Admittedly it begins with a rape trial, but the narrator doesn't let up, even in the tranquil setting of a nunnery every other word is emphasized. If you enjoyed The Girl in Hyacinth Blue, I'd suggest that you listen to the sample first and decide whether you could stand 9 hours of it. If not, buy the print version.

13 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Robert
  • Robert
  • 13-12-2003

La Dolce Vita!

As an artist and also a victim of rape, I identified with Artemisia. Her story is endearing and inciteful, unfolding the life of a female artist in the 1600's plus dealing with the struggles of women, whether 400 years ago or today. I recommend this book to those who embrace art and womanhood. The narrator's voice is pure emotion.
Downside - I hated the ending. It left me wanting more.

7 people found this helpful

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  • heART
  • 11-04-2015

in the category of shades of grey

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

anyone who likes pornography

What could Susan Vreeland have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

not debase her main character

Have you listened to any of Gigi Bermingham’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

no, but she wasexcellent

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Passion of Artemisia?

using the paint brush to supply her orgasm

Any additional comments?

I won't purchase anymore of this author's books

3 people found this helpful

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  • Kay
  • 21-05-2003

Disappointing

I was expecting a serious biography of Artemisia, but this book is a lightweight romance.

15 people found this helpful

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  • S. Morris
  • 10-07-2021

An unknown artist brought to life

I had never heard of Artemesia Gentileschi, but this made me want to know more about her. The artworks I've found online are certainly the equal to anything from the period. The story, while fictionalized, gives plausible motivations for her art. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

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Profile Image for Dirk van der Wal
  • Dirk van der Wal
  • 29-04-2021

outstanding

wonderful interwoven history of art and artist. that contexualises te novel. authentic choice of words and
language generally ar superb, excellent narration,

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  • Storytellersrus
  • 26-05-2019

Vreeland does it again

The Passion of Artemisia is a large fiction that delights, educates and horrifies in turn as it reveals the talents of one unusual young woman, the brilliant Caravaggio-like artist Artemisia. I look forward to reading its sequel, please.

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Profile Image for A. M. Dirks
  • A. M. Dirks
  • 18-07-2015

I loved the authors interpretation of Artemisia Gentileschi's life

Especially the way she thought Artemisia resolved her father's complicity in her torture. She takes several liberties with history and Artemisia's part in it as well as not mentioning her other children and her brother or accurately portraying her husband. But I suspect those omissions were to center on the resolve that Artemisia would evolve with the help of the two Sisters. I would recommend this story but not for it's factual representation of Artemisia Gentileschi's life.

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