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The Passion of Artemisia.

Susan Vreeland. 2002. Read by Gigi Bermingham. 6 tapes. 9.5 hrs. HighBridge Audio. 1-56511-525-2. $34.95. Cardboard, plastic; plot, reader, author notes. SA *

Artemisia Gentileschi's story (based on events in the life of the 17th-century artist) begins as her former teacher is put on trial for rape in Rome. When she, a 14-year-old girl, is in effect put on trial instead by the church officials, her reputation is ruined. Her father, a painter, does not support her in this or in her dream of becoming an artist. Married off to another artist who agrees to the arrangement for the dowry, they move to Florence where despite great odds Artemisia studies art, becomes a confidant of the controversial Galileo, raises a daughter, and begins to realize the breadth of her own talent. Throughout the events of her life, Artemisia lives with passion and indefatigable determination to realize her dream to paint the pictures she feels she must and to gain recognition for her art in a world that is loath to let her study, much less give her the recognition her talent would afford her were she a man.

This compelling and passionate novel is read by Bermingham with the spirit and strength inherent in Artemsia's life. Employing slightly deeper tones for the male characters, she succeeds at all voices, and her evocative pronunciations of Italian names and terms add to the atmosphere already present in the author's descriptions of Italian life and culture. This memorable production will captivate anyone who enjoys rich characterizations. Highly recommended. Melody A. Moxley, Admin. Svcs. Mgr., Rowan PL., Salisbury, NC
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Author:Moxley, Melody A.
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Sep 1, 2002
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