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Artemisia Gentileschi, Autoritratto come allegoria della Pittura, 1638,Windsor Castle, Royal Collection

In an era when monarchs, ministers, and popes deplete the state coffers to satisfy their whims as aesthetes, where obsessive and unscrupulous collectors prevail, a time when suffering and sin become nearly synonymous, and justice and cruelty are divided by a thin border, in such a period when painters unabashedly wield brushes and daggers, and Fate decides life or death in every matter, enters onto the scene: Artemisia Gentileschi.

Passionate, courageous, enterprising, sensual, brilliant—she’s a woman.

The firstborn daughter of Orazio Gentileschi, Artemisia approaches the world of painting from her earliest years, thanks to her father’s teachings, who takes her along wherever he goes.

Father and daughter. Master and student. Master and servant. Artist and model. Who truly taught the other? That is the true mystery of their relationship.

Alexandra Lapierre’s novel titled ‘Artemisia’ recounts all this and much more. But what it predominantly provokes us to ponder is this: Without an Artemisia, would there have been a woman artist today? An artist free to express her emotions through art?

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