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The Passion of Artemisia

by Susan Vreeland

Steeped in art and history, this is a fascinating story of the life, loves and suffering of Artemisia Gentileschi, Italy's most famous female artist. She is a woman to be admired for her determination to overcome scandal in court and gain acceptance in art circles, but pitied as she is betrayed by the men she loves.

Extract

When I drew my hand away, a few drops of blood had landed on the white covers of Holofernes's bed. The deep brilliant red against the white thrilled me. I squeezed out more blood, feeling pleasure in the pain, and let it fall below his head, mixed vermilion and madder to match the red, and added more. Streams of it. A deep crimson waterfall soaking into luxurious, tufted bedcovers. Like the blood soaking my sleeve in court. Or the blood I had tried to staunch after the first rape. A smear of blood across Judith's knuckles too. If Rome craved spectacle, then I would give them spectacle.

Parallels

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