>> Tuesday, August 29, 2006
I’ve had this book on my list for a long time. I really enjoyed “The Girl in Hyacinth Blue”. As did that one and “The Girl With a Pearl Earring”, this book creates an interesting background to go with real paintings. Some of it is based on fact and some invented. Although I spent time in Italy when I was in college, I’d never heard of the real Artemisia. Raped, tortured, and betrayed by her father, she went on to become the first woman to paint large scale historical and religious paintings and the first woman to be admitted into the Accademia dell' Arte del Disegno in Florence in the 17th century. The story Vreeland wrote is beautifully written and quite interesting. Don’t let the grim opening deter you. Artemisia is a survivor who is way ahead of her time. The author’s website which has pictures of the paintings described in the book is a valuable link to keep handy when reading this one.